Published May 23, 2007
Valentine’s Day is a world-wide holiday that is celebrated by numerous countries around the globe including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, Australia and France.
According to Hallmark, Valentine's Day is the 2nd most popular holiday for giving greeting cards, second only to Christmas. In fact, this year an estimated 192 million Valentine's Day cards will be given to friends, family, spouses and significant others. According to the US Census Bureau, 65% of households will celebrate by giving a Valentine's Day greeting card. The first mass-produced Valentine's Day cards were sold around 1847 invented in Worcester, Massachusetts by a woman named Esther Howland. Esther's father operated a book and stationary store which is where she got her inspiration for the embossed paper lace Valentine card she designed.
According to the US Census Bureau, 38% of US households mark Valentine's Day by giving candy. The classic box of chocolates was purportedly introduced by Richard Cadbury way back in 1868. Of course, it likely didn’t feature the heart-shaped box that is a favorite among romantics today. It turns out that Valentine’s Day is the 4th biggest holiday for candy sales in the US. This really isn't a surprise considering that the average American consumes about 24.7 pounds of candy in just a year. Chocolate and non-chocolate confectionary businesses are cashing in on that candy consumption making chocolate a 13.5 billion dollar industry and non chocolate candy a 5.5 billion dollar a year business. California and Pennsylvania are the leading producers of chocolate in the US while Canada is the leading international supplier of candy to the United States (both chocolate and non-chocolate).
According to the US Census Bureau, 32% of American households celebrate Valentine's Day by giving flowers. Surveys show that nearly 15% of women in the US actually send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. There are over 22,000 florists in the United States who offer everything from fresh cut flowers to beautiful bouquets. Lilies are the best-selling flowers followed closely by roses. California is the leading supplier of domestically grown flowers supplying nearly 75% of the nation’s domestic grown flowers while Columbia is the leading international supplier of cut flowers to the United States.
According to the US Census Bureau, 11% of American households celebrate the Valentine holiday by giving jewelry to their significant other. Jewelry stores in the US typically sell over $2.4 billion in February alone.
Romance is in the air in some specially named cities across the nation. There are actually two towns in the U.S. named "Valentine", one in Nebraska and one in Texas. Valentine's Day also conjures up plenty of love and believe it or not, there are nine cities in the nation that have the word "Love" in their city name.