Valentine's Day in numbers

Valentine's Day
By Eleanor O'Neill, Student Blog

11 February 2019

Roses are red, violets are blue, the numbers add up for couples of two. With the season of love upon us, we round up 14 fun facts in numbers about Valentine's Day.


The first feast day of St Valentine was declared by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.

Valentine's true origins are shrouded in the mysteries of time but most believe he was a third-century priest who secretly married couples in Rome. Emperor Claudius II banned the practice and Valentine was imprisoned and sentenced to death on 14 February. Perhaps unpleasant to know the festival of love started with the execution of a priest!


Hallmark Cards started to mass-produce products for Valentine's Day in 1913. Prior to this innovation, handcrafted cards and love letters were the norm.

Valentine cards

1 billion

An estimated one billion Valentine greetings cards are exchanged each year, making the holiday second only to Christmas in terms of card-sending traditions.

Millions of school children worldwide make and exchange cards for friends and sweethearts in February.

£3 million

The world's most expensive rose was cultivated by David Austin over the course of 15 years at a cost of £3 million.

He unveiled the 'Juliet Rose' at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006 and now sells bouquets of the bloom to brides for around £150.


On average, men spend around £50 on their partners for Valentine's Day. In Scotland, the number drops to £26, while in the US men spend an estimated £108 ($134).


UK women, on the other hand, spend approximately 36% less than their partners with an average of £32.

Valentine gift


The term 'Valentine's gifts for him' is the subject of 18,100 web searches a month in the UK.

58 million

Sweeties are the most popular Valentine's gift with around 58 million pounds of chocolate bought in the US alone during the holiday week.


Valentine's Day is one of 12 monthly 'love days' celebrated in South Korea. Traditionally, women give gifts in February and wait to see if they are reciprocated on White Day in March. For those who aren't, there is a Black Day tradition in April where singles eat noodles with black bean sauce.

The other celebrations include Candle Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day, Music Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day.


Mass weddings are a common sight on Valentine's Day in the Philippines. An estimated 4,000 couples tied the knot in huge ceremonies in 2014.

Valentine chocolates


Valentine's Day was introduced to Japan in 1936 by way of an advertising campaign aimed at tourists. Due to what may have been a translation error, today the holiday sees women exclusively offering chocolates to male partners, friends and coworkers.

They can choose to gift cheap 'giri-choco' (obligation chocolate) or more artisan 'honmei choco' (true feelings chocolate), depending on the relationship.


A four-day festival celebrating romance takes place in Verona, Italy every year. The city of Romeo and Juliet is decked out in heart-shaped lanterns and a giant painted heart takes over the centre square while couples flock to outdoor concerts and art installations.


14 February is the ninth most popular day for weddings in the world.

Valentine wedding


And at the other end of the spectrum, 39% of British couples don't celebrate Valentine's Day at all.

What are your plans for 14 February? Do you spend above the average or shun the commercial side? Tell us in the comments below.


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