What the heart wants

Drawn with a crayon or filled with candy, the heart is the most popular symbol of love on Valentine’s Day (coming Feb. 14).

Here’s a few fun facts about this hearty holiday:

  • Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, but which one is unclear. The Catholic Church acknowledges three separate saints named Valentine or Valentinus.
  • Approximately 1 billion Valentines are sent worldwide each year, according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association. That’s second only to Christmas.
  • About $1 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day candy, the National Confectioners Association says. About 75 percent of that is from sales of chocolate –

about 58 million pounds.

  • The best-selling Valentine candy are Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, the pastel sugar candies with the quirky sayings. Each year, NECCO manufactures more

than 8 billion hearts, which sell out in about six weeks. New sayings are added annually to such favorites as “Be Mine” and “Sweet Talk.”

  • Over 100 million red roses are sold and delivered within three days of Feb. 14.
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