Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

10 St Valentine's Day Fun Facts

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

10 St Valentine's Day Fun Facts

Article excerpt

Byline: NOSTALGIA DAVE MORTON recalls the people and places of the North East EMAIL: TELEPHONE: 0191 2016437 WRITE TO: Dave Morton, Nostalgia Editor, The Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1ED @DaveSMorton Newcastle Chronicle - History Photosales - 0191 201 6000

TODAY'S the day when sales of cards and boxes of chocolates go through the roof, and when restaurants and flower shops ramp up their prices.

Or, if you're a more romantic soul, it's a day when courting or married couples can indulge in displays of public affection and shower each other with gifts and kisses.

The day has become increasingly commercialised in the decades since the war and hundreds of thousands of pounds will be spent in the North East on cards, wrapping paper, lingerie, Champagne, choccies and the like.

Looking back, for those of us who received our first Valentine's cards -usually daubed with the acronym SWALK ("sealed with a loving kiss") - as spotty teenagers, it was an occasion marked by slight embarrassment but more than a little pride.

As it's February 14, we recall 10 things you - probably - never knew about Valentine's Day: | 1. The origins of the big day are unclear and have been lost in the mists of time. It probably originates from a pagan fertility festival in pre-Roman times called Lupercalia, which spread across the Roman Empire, including much of the UK, and over time became a day of remembrance for St Valentine.

| 2. Nobody knows exactly who St Valentine was, although some historians suggest he was a Roman martyred in the third century AD by a Roman emperor. | 3. It is said that the first recorded Valentine's card was sent by the imprisoned Duke of Orleans in 1415. It is believed that he sought solace from his confinement by writing love poems to his wife.

| 4. …

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