Happy Valentine’s Day! We celebrate February 14th with cards, chocolate, flowers and complicated lingerie, but you probably have no idea how the holiday first came about. In ancient Rome, this was the day that preceded the harvest festival known as Lupercalia, which celebrated the mythical she-wolf Lupa.
On the 14th, young couples were paired up by a lottery- that is, until the end of the fifth century, when the Pope ended this tradition because it was considered unchristian. Later, Valentine’s Day evolved to become a holiday for celebrating courtly love in honor of several Roman martyrs known as St. Valentine. Nowadays, 60% of Americans (and more than 90% of those in relationships) celebrate the holiday, spending an estimated $18.6 billion.
People will drop an average of $131 on gifts for their loved ones, which may include spouses, partners, friends, kids, parents, coworkers, classmates and even pets. Love is in the air!