Few people know why we celebrate what has become known as “Valentine’s Day.” The official name of the holiday is “St. Valentine’s Day”, that most agree was a Catholic priest that was martyred in 270 AD. Many historians agree that the day in February was chosen by church officials to coincide with a pagan fertility celebration in an effort to “Christianize” the holiday.
Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for sheer volume of floral purchases, and a close second to Christmas in terms of dollars spent according to numbers from America’s florist industry.
Each year, fewer people say they will celebrate Valentine’s Day; last year only 51% of those surveyed said they planned to celebrate, and that number has trended downward for the past 12 years. In fact a full 30% of Americans say that they “never” celebrate the holiday.
Conversely, more money is spent on Valentine’s Day each year: In 2019, the average amount spent was $162, well above the prior year’s $144, and the total amount spent was $20.7 billion, a six percent increase over the prior year. This trend shows no signs of slowing down due to a continued strong economy.