More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day. A survey conducted by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association revealed that 50 percent of women will likely give a gift of chocolate to a guy for Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is the fourth biggest holiday of the year for confectionery purchases (after Halloween, Easter and Christmas).
American men say they'd rather receive chocolate than flowers on Valentine's Day, especially those over the age of 50. Sixty-eight percent of men age 50 or older say they'd prefer receiving chocolate over flowers from their sweetheart on Valentine's Day, while just 22% said they'd rather have the flowers.
On February 14, 270 A.D., Roman Emperor Claudius II beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies despite the Emperors’ decrees outlawing them.
“Claudius the Cruel” outlawed marriages when Roman men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives.
Another Roman martyr named Valentine was jailed and passed the time by writing love letters to his captor’s daughter, signed “Your Valentine”.
During the Middle Ages, Europeans believed that birds chose their mates each year on February 14. Legend has it that Europeans began to emulate the ornithological practice.
It is believed that in the 17th century, lovers began exchanging mementos on Saint Valentine’s Day, perhaps heeding the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Sweets to the Sweet”.
A natural aphrodisiac? As an elixir for love, chocolate has been believed throughout history to bring smiles to the broken-hearted and to prompt amorous feelings in both men and women. It is believed that Madame Du Barry served it to all her suitors; Casanova consumed chocolate instead of champagne to induce romance; and Montezuma, the king of the ancient Aztecs, believed chocolate would make him virile. In the 1800’s physicians commonly advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining.