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Valentine’s Day: 21 million Euros turnover expected

Almost every second person in Vienna buys a present for Valentine’s Day. The trade in Vienna thus expects a turnover of around 21 million Euros.

"Viennese people are going to spend 21 million Euros in total for this year’s Valentine’s Day. The turnover in the flower sector will be one of the best of this year", said Brigitte Jank, president of the Chamber of Commerce in Vienna.

An inquiry of customers showed that 45 % of people from Vienna would buy presents for their beloved ones.

Flowers, sweets, invitations, perfumes and vouchers are the most popular presents. The inquiry reveals that people in a relationship make presents more often (54 percent) than singles (22 percent). A release stated that the average expenses are 35 Euros.

There are many theories about the origins of the tradition of Valentine’s Day.

People in medieval times believed that birds started to mate on 24 February. This is thought to be the most reasonable explanation for the tradition.

Another theory regards the Norman word "Galantin", which means lady’s man. Galantin’s Day could have been transformed into Valentine’s Day just by a change of letters.

Others believe that the Christianised Roman festival "Lupercalia" was the reason for celebrating Valentine’s Day. Names of boys and girls were written on sheets of paper and drawn by lot so that the boys and girls had company for the day.

This custom was taken over by Christians in France, Belgium and England at the end of the 14th century. The "Valentines" were drawn and thus connected in a kind of engagement.

The tradition of sending Valentine’s cards only evolved in the 17th century.

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