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Valentine's Day fun facts for kids

Decorating the annual valentine mail box and writing valentines for everyone in the class is fun, but does your child know the facts of Valentine’s Day?

Historical Facts

  • Valentine’s Day first occurred around 270 A.D. in honor of St. Valentine’s death or burial.
  • Valentine’s Day might have been placed in February to align with the Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia. Lupercalia was outlawed in the 5th century, but Valentine’s Day lived on.
  • The phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve” comes from the Lupercalia festival. Roman men drew names of women to determine their future partners. They would wear the drawn names on their sleeves throughout the festival.
  • Valentine greetings became popular in the Middle Ages.
  • The first known written valentine appeared in the 1400s.
  • The first mass-produced valentines in America were sold in the 1840s.
  • The first box designed to receive Valentine’s Day candy was made in the late 1800s.

Modern-day Facts

  • Today, one billion valentines are sent every year.
  • Women purchase 85% of all valentines.
  • Three percent of pet owners give their pets valentines. Do you?
  • Fifty million roses are purchased for Valentine’s Day every year.
  • Thirty-six million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Valentine’s Day candies and gifts are given to children.
  • Eight billion conversation heart candies are produced and 10 new sayings are introduced every year.
  • If you or your child is a "heart expert," test your knowledge by watching the Valentine’s Day episode of Jeopardy for relevant questions every year.

You can encourage learning throughout the holiday by sharing facts and explaining the story of Valentine’s Day. Learn more at the History website and at the St. Valentine's Day website.