Cool Facts about Love Around the World
Love may be just a four-letter word, but its power is unfathomable. It is a language that is perhaps the most commonly shared amongst the people of all the countries on earth. Yet, different countries have different take on the word love. Over the years certain beliefs and facts of love have evolved giving us different perceptions that pertains to that particular part of the world. Let us take a look at some of the most interesting love facts from around the world:
Highest Grossing Romantic Movie of All Time: Titanic
The Titanic based on a love story with a pinch of tragedy was an epic, highest-grossing romantic movie ever. It opened on November 1, 1977 in the Tokyo International Film Festival to rave reviews with Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet in the lead roles. In the US it released on December 19, 1997 and broke records beyond expectations when its box office collections grossed $2,186,772,302 in over 3,265 theaters. Having won critical acclaim, it also garnered 14 Oscar nominations and won 11 of the awards tying up with Benhur for the most Oscars won by a single movie. It also became the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark with an initial revenue of $1.84 billion.
Longest Running Romantic Movie in India: DDLJ
Ranked amongst some popular hits in India, the peppy DilwaleDulhania Le Jayenge (or DDLJ) features as the longest running romantic movie. The movie opened to packed houses on October 20, 1995 and continues to touch the hearts of several – young and old – at the Maratha Mandirtheater in Mumbai (it completed 900 weeks running on January 11, 2013). The gross worldwide collection stands at more than $20 million (or INR 1.22 billion).
The movie featured in the global 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book by Steven Jay Schneider which also includes the other Bollywood movie, Mother India.
Epitome of Love – Taj Mahal
An epitome of eternal love is the unique Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The monument built from 1632-1653 took the hard, laborious efforts of about 20,000 workers and INR 320 million to make it a reality. Built by Shahjahan in memory of his 3rd wife, MumtazMahal, the Taj attracts about 8 million visitors annually with one-tenth of the visitors from overseas. Mixing both traditional Persian and Hindu elements of architecture, the dome-shaped marble and sandstone building with its minarets and mausoleum stands tall amongst beautifully created parks and natural surroundings.
Polluting traffic has led to some bit of discoloration in the white natural look of the Taj Mahal, but it still is one of those wonders of the world that stand as testimony to everlasting love. Honeymooners and lovers throng the place all the year round.
Romeo & Juliet – The Classical Romance
The first play on romance and love, a theatrical poem that represents all emotions in love – be it tragedy, the belongingness, or the agony of separation is the story of Romeo and Juliet. It was written as a play by Shakespeare in the mid-1590s in London, most probably adapted from the original poem – The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet – written by Arthur Brooks in 1562.
The play was set in Verona and Mantua which are cities in Northern Italy. It also is said to have had the first romantic on-stage kiss. The authorized version of the play was published in 1599, though an incomplete edition did come out in 1597. The Italian city of Verona, the place where Romeo and Juliet lived receives around 1,000 letters in Juliet’s name on Valentine’s Day each year.
The popularity of the romance can be seen in the number of films or adaptations on Shakespeare’s plays that have been produced till 2000 – 479 in all – where the Romeo and Juliet play has maximum with 77 versions followed by Hamlet with 75, and Othello with 43.
Pride and Prejudice: Best-selling Romantic Novel
Come to think of it, who hasn’t ever read it? Maybe some, but several have at some point in their lives. And if you are one of those who hasn’t yet, pick it up this Valentine’s.
No wonder, Pride and Prejudice is ranked as the best-selling romantic novel. The novel by Jane Austen was published in 1813 symbolizes the romantic journey of the young female protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett who is seeking true love to settle for in marriage. All characters including Fitzwilliam Darcy, Liz’s sister Jane, Bingley all look for love in their own characteristic ways overcoming various hurdles in their path.
The book has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and also ran as a movie adaptation of the same name.
2nd Most Heart-to-heart Greeting Cards on the Valentine Holiday
The Valentine’s Day is the second-most largest holiday, when greeting cards are exchanged. As per Hallmark Cards, more than 142 million cards are exchanged worldwide by Valentines. V-Day celebrations are popular in countries such as US, Denmark, Canada, UK, Mexico, France, Italy, etc., where the tradition of exchanging personalized, heartfelt messages on greeting cards is quite prominent. Hallmark first offered these cards in 1913 and began production in 1916.
Japan’s Valentine’s Day in March
An interesting ritual happens in countries like Japan, China, South Korea, and Taiwan. It’s not a case of tit for tat – in fact, the girls give some endearing gifts such as home-made or purchased chocolates to their lovers on Valentine’s Day (February 14th) and the lovers are supposed to give back in return one month exactly after – gifts at least thrice as expensive as those – on what is called the White Day (March 14th). White Day was first celebrated in Japan in 1978. The return gifts of the guys range from white to dark chocolates to lingerie to jewelry.
Proposals at a Restaurant
How do you find the concept of proposing to your partner at a restaurant? Well, a zagat.com survey revealed that 68% felt marriage proposals at restaurants were a cheesy idea and the rest 32% believed it was a romantic one. Does the old adage “The way to a man’s (and maybe a woman’s too) heart is through his stomach” still hold true? An average dinner spend could be about $142. As per zagat’s stats, on Valentine’s, 57% stay at home while of the 43% that go out – 33% go out still to their old favorite restaurant while 29% try out something new.
And, 92% felt restaurants were hardly an acceptable place to break up, even though 8% agreed it was acceptable.
Food for Love?
Food for thought or food for love? What’s the best type of cuisine for V-day? The previous V-Day Zagat.com survey for 2013 comes to our rescue – 31% opted for Italian, 30% for French, and 18% New American followed by some 5% for Spanish and 3% for Japanese.
What would you opt for this Valentine’s? A romantic meal need not necessarily be lavish, but a change in flavor could help win over a Valentine.
Valentine’s Day Spending – Can it gross over $18.6 billion this year?
Are you falling prey to Cupid’s arrows already and now making big plans? Be wary, as these plans could dig into your deep pockets and leave you with merely a big hole. A survey last year by the National Retail Federation jointly with BIGinsight in the US revealed some facts that could make you cautious about your spending this V-Day too.
The survey let the cat out of the bag – people on an average were willing to spend only $130.97 for Valentine’s, however up from $126 for the previous year, 2012. But the total spending in 2013 on V-Day was predicted to gross about $18.6 billion on a variety of gifts – candies, cards, flowers, perfumes and other items. About 51% would buy candy, about 37% would buy flowers, and almost 20% spend on jewelry. Men would, the survey added, spend about $176 on their gifts, while women about $89. How will it be this year?
224 Million Roses for Valentine’s Day (US)
Known for its symbolism, red and pink roses, akin to a lover’s blushing cheeks, are the flowers most sought after on Valentine’s Day. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman).
On an average, 224 million roses are grown for this day in the US alone. The red rose is considered as the world’s favorite flower. While 51% people buy red roses, an average 64% of the men buy flowers in general for V-Day. Lancaster in Pennsylvania, US is known as the Red Rose city after the first ever cultivated rose and has huge sales of roses during Valentine’s.
Las Vegas – Marriage Capital of the World
Over 100,000 marriages are conducted in Las Vegas in a single year. Las Vegas has one of the highest marriage rates of US cities, with many licenses issued to people coming from even outside the State of Nevada. Las Vegas, Nevada came to be known as the Marriage Capital of the World as it is notoriously easy and cheap to get married here. A marriage license can be comfortably procured at as low as $50.
And here’s the water on the fire – Las Vegas is also one of the most stressful cities in the US (2004 study) and has one of the highest divorce rates. The main reason is that in the state of Nevada, it is easier to get a divorce than the rest of the US. People from all over the US travel to Nevada to get divorced.
V for Viagra or Valentine?
More prescriptions are written for Viagra around Valentine’s Day than any other time. Condom sales are about 25 percent higher than usual around Valentine’s Day. (Source: Durex) of year.
Oldest Couple to Marry
It’s never too old to celebrate love. On 1 February 2002, François Fernandez born on 17 April, 1906 and BertheAndrée “Madeleine” Francineau born on 15 July, 1907 – both in France – exchanged marriage vows at the rest home Le Foyer du Romarin, in Clapiers, France, at the age of 96 years, 290 days, and 94 years 201 days, respectively.
Their aggregate age at the time of the ceremony totaled 191 years and 126 days.
Karam Chand born in November 1905 and Kartari Chand (born in November 1912) were married on December 11, 1925 and till date have completed more than 88 years of marriage. The couple lives in Bradford, UK.
Herbert Fisher born in June 1905) and Zelmyra Fisher born in December 1907 both in the US were married on May 13, 1924 in North Carolina, USA. They had been married 86 years, 9 months, and 16 days as of 27 February 2011, when Herbert died.
Ring Finger – 4th Finger Holds the Vein to the Heart
Ever wondered why the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of your left hand? Because the Greeks believed that the vein of love running straight to the heart lies in the fourth finger. While the tradition seems to have started in ancient Egypt, the Romans too had this unique tradition of giving the girls 2 engagement rings – one made of iron and to be worn at home, and the other made of gold to be worn in public. The tradition of diamond engagement ring came from Austria when back in 1477, Archduke Maximilan proposed his lady love Mary with a diamond ring.
As far as wedding rings are concerned, ancient Egypt saw the birth of the first wedding rings with the circle symbolizing not only eternity but also the sun and moon goddess.
In England and America, rings are often worn in sets – first, you have the engagement ring, then the smooth wedding ring and finally the ‘eternity ring’, which is traditionally given on the occasion of the first wedding anniversary or the birth of the first child.
Romantic Apps& Dating Sites
Meet Me – More than 40 million users are putting the app for love connection.
Badoo – It is currently one of the Top ten apps used in several countries like the US, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany with daily 100,000 new users.
CatholicSingles.com – A popular dating site for Catholic singles – Facebook has restricted ads on the site just before Valentine’s Day this year in order to reduce spam.
HowAboutWe.com – The site is an online dating service that has over a million members worldwide and gets busy during Valentine’s. The site also has an iPhone, iPad, and Android friendly app which it launched in 2012.