It’s Valentine’s Day this coming Tuesday. And— outside of certain Muslim jurisdictions in which it is not celebrated —the annual day of romance is going to be big business, as usual.
Valentine’s Day – The Figures
The Valentine’s Day industry in the UK is worth around half a billion pounds.
Over a quarter of a billion pounds is spent on Valentine’s Day flowers every year in the UK.
Men in the UK spend on average £40 on Valentine’s Day. Women spend just under £25. That’s an average figure. That includes all the people not spending anything at all. The reality is that a decent Valentine’s dinner is going to cost somewhere between £40 and £100. A card is going to cost £5 tops. It is certainly no surprise that research has shown that one in ten British men spends over £75 on the big day.
The dearest place to buy a dozen Valentine’s Day roses in 2017 is Sydney Australia with an average cost of £75.38. The cheapest place is Cape Town South Africa, with a dozen roses costing £18.25.
“Once the roses, chocolates, dinners, jewellery, and bottles of champagne are added up,” says realsimple.com, the average cost of a gift bonanza from man to woman can top USD500 – according to Bankrate’s “Be My Valentine” index.
At the premium end of the market, the most expensive cities for a luxury 2017 European or US Valentine’s break, complete with a spa day, roses and all the trimmings are: 1 Los Angeles £1,081 2 Venice £884 3 New York £868 4 Sydney £856 5 Zurich £853 6 Melbourne £848 7 San Francisco £839 8 Boston £805 9 Washington DC £784 10 Basel £782
Valentine’s Day – Habits
10% of all marriage proposals are made on Valentine’s Day.
69% of UK men spend the day alone.
65% of Brits exchange cards, with about a billion cards exchanged.
The second-highest period of card-sending activity in the UK year.
Valentine’s Day – Origins
The ancient origins of Valentine’s Day are hazy. Some say the tradition goes back to the third century AD and a Roman priest called Valentine who was executed (in romantic circumstances) by Emperor Claudius II.
The origins of the date of Valentine’s Day are clear: the feast of St Valentine of February 14th was instituted by Pope Gelasius I.
It is not clear when Cupid, the Roman God of desire and love, and Eros, the Greek equivalent, became involved with the Valentine’s Day story.
Valentine’s Day began to take off in the mid-1700s, but went truly commercial in the early 1900s, with Hallmark Cards of the US beginning to mass-produce Valentine’s Day cards from 1913.