Love is in the Air!


We are now into February .. the month of romance and at Gladrags we feel like spreading the love around and have come up with a little competition to help get you in the mood!  See below for details.

Before  you scroll down to the bottom of the page, here are a few Valentine’s Day facts for you  and as you can see, it wasn’t always celebrated with chocolate and roses!

It has some pretty dark roots.

Historians believe Valentine’s Day actually began in Ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival call Lupercalia, which included sacrificing animals and whipping women with animal skins until they bled, signifying their fertility. So romantic!

In the 1300s, it officially became a holiday associated with love and romance.

The holiday was Christianised, meaning no more animal sacrifices and was celebrated in mid-February because many believed that birds started their mating season on February 14, which is why doves are often associated with love.

Saint Valentine wasn’t just one person.

In fact, he might have been two or three. But the most common “founder” of Valentine’s Day was the Saint Valentine, who defied Emperor Claudius II. At the time, Claudius had banned marriage because he thought it distracted young soldiers. Valentine felt a bit differently — he illegally married couples until he was caught. After he was sentenced to his death, young couples would visit his cell and give him flowers and cards. And the day he actually died? February 14. Allegedly.

But there have been multiple St. Valentines throughout history, including one pope. (He only served for 40 days in 827 A.D.)

The first Valentines were sent in the 15th century.

But it wasn’t until the 17th century that people started exchanging cards and letters, and Valentine’s Day cards weren’t mass-produced until the 1840’s.

According to O2, 11 million more texts were sent  last year on Valentine’s Day, compared to the average number of texts sent on any other day in February, hitting a total of 229,761,058 texts!!!!

Today, it’s pretty big business.

Valentine’s day is the second biggest “event” of the calendar year following Christmas.  It has been estimated that the UK will spend around £880 million on Valentines’s day. On average, last year UK men spent £40 on their partner on Valentine’s Day, whereas women spent an average of £24.

Most florists will increase the cost of their flowers, especially roses by approximately 30% during the week leading up to Valentine’s day and around 110 million Valentine’s roses are sold 2-3 days leading up to February 14th, mostly red of course. Out of those 110 million, 73% are purchased by men and only 27% are purchased by women.

 The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

The heart is traditionally drawn in this shape with a red color.

  which traditionally represents passions and strong emotions in many cultures.

Competition Time

All you have to do is to guess how any individual hearts (not the packets but the individual hearts) are in the jar in Reception – it’s £1 per entry and all proceeds will be given to the British Heart Foundation (click here for more information). Please give your £1 to Tracey.
The winner with the nearest guess to the correct number will be announced after 3pm on Valentine’s Day. The winner will receive a voucher for Afternoon Tea for 2 at Patisserie Valerie and (of course) the jar of hearts.
Good Luck!!!!

Written by Sally Hutchinson

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