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Where Does Valentine's Day Come From?

Valentine's Day wasn't always about cards and candy hearts. In fact, it is believed to have originated as a Roman holiday called Lupercalia, in which naked men flogged women with goat- or dog-skin whips in hopes of making them fertile. It became linked to love when Christian leaders connected the holiday to the life of St. Valentine, who performed marriages at a time when they were illegal and was martyred for his actions.

More facts about Valentine's Day:

  • People who celebrate Valentine's Day in the United States spend an average of more than $100 US Dollars each on gifts, meals and entertainment.

  • Approximately 200 million Valentine's Day cards are sent through the mail every year — and that doesn't count all of the cards exchanged by schoolchildren.

  • About eight billion candy hearts are made and sold every year for Valentine's Day.

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