Valentine’s Day: Then and Now

Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated annually on 14th of February. Beginning as a Western Christian day honoring several martyred saints named Valentinus, and is known as both an important cultural commemoration and commercial celebration in many regions through the globe. However, Valentine’s Day is not a publicly recognized holiday by any government in the world.

The day itself became linked with love and romance by Geoffrey Chaucer during the 14th century. This was a time when courtship became a tradition amongst western nations. During the 1700s in the United Kingdom, the day grew into a day where couples demonstrated their love by gifting each other flowers, giving small gifts, and of course, sending cards (nicknamed “Valentines”). In Europe, St. Valentine’s Keys were gifted to couples a token of “fancy” and “affection”. During this time, outlines of heart shapes, love-birds, and chirrups became commonplace. Since the 1800s, homemade cards have been replaced by commercially made, mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards.

17th Century courtship in Western Europe.

17th Century courtship in Western Europe.

Today, both Europe and the United States, billions of USD dollars are spent each year on Valentine’s Day. Friends, family members, and lovers spend money on love themed cards, fresh flowers, candies, chocolates, jewelry, and various other gifts. In the United Kingdom, an estimated 25 million cards are sent each year. This equates to 1 of 3 of the entire United Kingdom’s population. Across the pond in the United States, nearly 200 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. Impressively, this makes up 62% of the country’s population. In fact, in 2013, the average amount spent per person is over $130, with an increase of about 6% each year.

Roses and chocolate are popular gifts to give.

Roses and chocolate are popular gifts to give.

From its origins as a celebration of Catholic saints to its modern transformation into a commercialized day of gift giving, Valentine’s Day is historically and contemporary significant.

Football, Turkey: Top November Highlights

November, the 11th month of the Gregorian year.  A time when deciduous leaves have changed colors and a cool, crispness is in the air.  Football is played all over America.

Two official, American Veterans Day and Thanksgiving highlight the month of November.  Additionally, Black Friday marks November as an unofficial holiday.

Veterans Day

Perhaps one of the more overlooked and misunderstood American holidays.  According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs:

Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.”

According to, just 43% of American observe this holiday.

Thanksgiving Day and Football

While considered one of the major US holidays, Thanksgiving traditionally marks the celebration of the fall harvest.  Most noteworthy, the day involves a large family dinner consisting of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.  According to, 87% of American observe this holiday.

turkey, football

The day also includes three games of football.  The Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys each traditionally play a respective opponent on Thanksgiving Day, while the third game does not have a set team(s).

Football schedule:

Thursday, November 23, 12:30pm ET on FOX
Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Thursday, November 23, 3:30 PM on CBS
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Thursday, November 23, 7:30 PM on NBC
FedExField, Maryland

Black Friday

The Friday following Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.  Traditionally, stores have massive deals which drive sales up or into the black. Hence the phrase “Black Friday”.
Because of the sales, shoppers will line up in front of stores at the early hours of the morning to get their chance at savings serious money on various hot items.  Typically, stores feature deals on popular electronics or toys for a limited time in the day.  For this season’s Black Friday deals, check out