Stumped about what to get your sweetie for Valentine's Day? Do like the Welsh. For 350 years, Welsh men have been known to carve an intricate wooden spoon for their lover, according to Giftcloud. Not one to whittle? You can also take inspiration from Germans, who exchange gifts that in some way feature a pig—a symbol of lust and love in Germany, per the Telegraph. Meanwhile in Japan, women gift men one of three different varieties of chocolate, each signifying either love, a platonic relationship, or sympathy. Other tidbits about this holiday for lovers:
- The Atlanta Journal Constitution traces Valentine's Day back to the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who reportedly executed two men named Valentine on Feb. 14. One of those men is said to have sent the first Valentine.
- A Valentine is still among the most popular gifts given on Feb. 14. Some 110 million cards will be exchanged today, according to Hallmark.
- Some cards might even include a proposal. Diamond retailer James Allen claims Valentine's Day is the most popular day of the year to get engaged, per Forbes.
- But not everyone should expect a diamond ring. Forbes reports Valentine's Day spending is expected to drop 7.6% this year with 9% fewer people celebrating the holiday.
- A cheap romantic gesture: Learning how to say "I love you" in 31 languages, which is easy with this MoveHub video. Feeling especially ambitious? This infographic shows proper pronunciation of the phrase in 50 languages.
- Or you could simply kick back with a romantic movie. Mashable rounds up 10 that are sure to melt even the coldest of hearts.
- The Miami Herald likewise lists 25 great love songs from the "sweet and soft" to the "Big. Bombastic. Dramatic."
- While a song might get you in the lovey-dovey mood, Smithsonian reports oysters probably won't. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not a proven aphrodisiac. In fact, aphrodisiacs might not exist.
- Feeling alone today? Sarah Hepola knows the feeling. But at NPR, she makes the case for Valentine's Day as a holiday celebrating love in general, not just the romantic kind.
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