According to history.com, Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated each year on February 14 by the exchange of cards, flowers, candy, or gifts with your special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia. Many historians believe that February is the month of love due to impending spring, birds beginning to mate, as well ancient fertility festivals taking place in February.
Is there another day that celebrates relationships quite the way that Valentine’s Day does? Over 40,000 people in the U.S. are employed in chocolate factories. Chocolate is a staple for Valentine’s Day and the Hershey Chocolate Company is the largest manufacturer of chocolate here in the U.S. with over 40% of the total market. The Hershey Chocolate Company is based in, of all places, Hershey, PA! Their top sellers are Hershey Kisses (so appropriate for Valentine’s Day), Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and Kit Kat Bars. It is estimated that over a billion (with a “b”) dollars will be spent on candy for Valentine’s Day.
The U.S. postal service will assist in handling some of the 150 million cards that will be exchanged on February 14 – not including all the Valentine’s Day cards given out by school aged children (at least those that get to be physically in school) in classrooms across the country. That constitutes 25% of all greeting cards sent each year and is second only to Christmas! Not to mention all the social media posts and other virtual greetings that will happen via technology.
So, this year, nurture your relationships, in whatever fashion fits your mood. Not just on February 14th, but every day. Smile brightly, listen intently, be present. And enjoy some chocolate!
Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor