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St Valentine’s Day History & By the Numbers

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Andrea Tarr

Andrea Tarr

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All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt, opined cartoonist Charles M. Schultz. Americans spend major bucks to show their love on Valentine’s Day including $2 billion on candy and purchasing approximately 145 million greeting cards and 224 million red roses. Consumers spend a whopping $18.6 billion in anticipation of Valentine's Day. The flower industry, American Greetings Cards, and Hershey’s are huge proponents of V-Day, but where did this all begin and what continues to fuel it? We’ll uncover some history and share some surprising statistics. The roots of V-Day go back to Roman times, but the first mention of St. Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday appeared in 1382. In the medieval period came a new focus on illicit but chaste courtly love, and it is here that we see some of the familiar icons like Cupid appearing. By the 1840s, V-Day as a holiday to celebrate romantic love had taken over most of the English-speaking world. The prudish Victorians adored the notion of courtly love and showered each other with elaborate cards and gifts. Enter Richard Cadbury, a British chocolate manufacturer who began to produce eating chocolate and the rest is history. Richard recognized a great marketing opportunity for the chocolates and started selling them in beautifully decorated boxes that he designed. Starting to sound familiar, right? Life Coach Jenn A Nocera and I will share more details on the origin and history of V-Day. After the show, please check After Hours at Jersey Coastal Live for more info.

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