Originating in the 1st century AD, Valentine’s Day only truly came into its own as a day to celebrate romantic love with the giving of gifts and cards in the 15th century.
And Clinton Cards was born. Well, not quite, but it’s true to say that Valentine’s Day was a golden opportunity for the high street.
It’s estimated that this year romantic Brits will spend £880 million on the retail holiday.
And it’s not just the chocolatiers and florists that can expect a boost from V Day. Big brands jumped on the bandwagon as fast as you can say Micky and Minnie Mouse.
But does anyone actually know anything about St Valentine, or the Roman god Cupid (both of whom have been inextricably tied to Valentine’s Day and yet bear no relation to one another whatsoever)?
And while I think about it. What’s Rudolph Valentino got to do with it all? Nothing, you might say, but then why did my parents name our family dog Rudi simply because he was born on Valentine’s Day? Actually, don’t answer that, I don’t think it’s relevant.
There may be no rhyme, nor reason, but Valentine’s Day has become as much a part of Western culture as birthdays and arguably more potent than Christmas, which has religious limitations to its reach throughout this part of the world.
And the brands? Well, when they reach the level of association that Coca-Cola has with Christmas, then they’ve definitely got the idea.