Why do we give chocolate on Valentine’s Day?

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(WHTM) — When Valentine’s Day comes around, many people run around trying to buy gifts for their significant others. Flowers, cards, and boxes of chocolate are staples when it comes to this holiday.

But, why chocolate? Why is that sweet treat always a staple of Valentine’s Day?

According to History.com, by the 1840’s the idea of Valentine’s Day becoming a holiday to celebrate love had taken over the English-speaking world. The Victorians from that era loved the idea of courtly love and gave others elaborate cards and gifts. According to the website Candy Favorites, chocolate was in high demand by the upper classes of Victorian-era England.

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But it wasn’t until Richard Cadbury, who was a part of the British chocolate manufacturing family, improved the company’s chocolate-making technique to make chocolate more palatable than what was being sold at the time.

To market this new “eating chocolate,” Cadbury saw that this would be a great marketing opportunity for the new chocolates and started selling them in decorated boxes that Cadbury himself designed.

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These boxes were works of art and were loved by the late Victorians. The boxes contained drawings of cupid and roses and were made in the shape of a heart. History.com states that Cadbury markets the boxes as having a dual purpose. Not only these can be beautiful gifts for his chocolates, but they can be used to store mementos, such as love letters.

The boxes grew increasingly elaborate until the outbreak of World War II when sugar was rationed and Valentine’s Day celebrations were scaled down.

Now, you can thank Cadbury for the idea of selling chocolates in heart-shaped boxes when you buy a special treat for your loved one!

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