Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.
In today’s episode, I will talk about Valentine’s Day in the United States. And with a mini-story, you will improve your English speaking.
Remember! You can get the transcript at speakenglishpodcast.com.
Ok. Let’s get started!
Although it is a very commercial holiday, Valentine’s Day has a fascinating history that goes back to ancient Rome! In the United States and other parts of the world, people celebrate February 14 by giving away candy hearts and red roses.
Historians believe that Valentine’s Day originated in ancient Rome as a pagan fertility festival.
But despite its origins, in 1300, it officially became a holiday associated with love and romance.
The Roman Pope officially declared February 14, “Valentine’s Day.” It was then associated with love because many believed that birds began their mating season on February 14.
There was more than one St. Valentine.
There have been multiple St. Valentines throughout history, like a bishop and a pope.
But the most common one was the one who challenged Emperor Claudius II.
Back then, Claudius had forbidden marriage because he thought it would distract young soldiers.
However, Valentine disapproved, so he illegally married couples until he was captured.
After he was convicted, young couples would visit his cell and give him flowers and cards. It’s said that he died on February 14.
Let’s see how Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day nowadays.
Since 1840 sending cards became a tradition and Americans send out 145 million Valentine’s Day cards every year.
Americans spend a lot of money on Valentine’s Day
About 50% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend about $19 billion a year, and over $2 billion on candy alone. That’s a lot of money, right?
But do you know where most of the money goes?
Americans spend almost 5 billion dollars on jewelry on Valentine’s Day!
They also spend more than $3.7 billion on going out at night, followed by flowers, clothes, and candy.
Ok. Now let’s get a bit romantic.
Nearly 6 million couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day.[END of EXTRACT]
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