I know Valentine’s Day is a week behind us now, but our family hosted two V-Day events that took place after the fact. Today I’m sharing the trivia test I gave guests at both events: my all-new Valentine’s Day Quiz.
A Lifestyle of Learning
It’s geeky, I know. As homeschoolers, we love real-life learning. And trivia. And we do our best to turn every major — and minor — holiday into some sort of history lesson.
I learned a lot researching the information used in this 10-question quiz. And you better believe I elaborated on all the answers when we went over the solutions once time was called.
Guests had 5 minutes to complete the test. Some of them follow this blog. So I didn’t want to post the quiz (or the answer key!) publicly until after our parties. Hence the delay.
But I’m putting it up now to ensure I’ll know where to find it next year.
The best record for all takers so far has been 60%. Give it a try and see if you can top that score. (Be sure to brag in the comments if you do — I promise to be duly impressed!)
Valentine’s Day Trivia Quiz
According to legend, Saint Valentine was a priest from Rome who was once imprisoned for doing what?
a. carrying a bow and arrows without a license
b. secretly marrying Christian couples
c. sending love letters to the pro-consul’s daughter
d. telling others about the love of God
Catholic church history recognizes the martyrdom of how many saints named Valentine/Valentina/Valentinus?
a. one (trick question)
b. two, both killed on Feb. 14
c. three, including a pope
d. at least eight
The Feast Day for Saint Valentine was established in the year 496 by whom?
a. King Arthur
b. Emperor Romulus Agustulus
c. Pope Gelasius I
d. Theodoric the Great
Why was February 14 chosen as St. Valentine’s Day?
a. because that’s the day Valentine was born
b. because that’s the day Valentine was martyred
c. because that’s the day Valentine was married
d. because it’s halfway between Christmas & Easter
In Finland, Valentine’s Day is known as Ystävänpäivä. Roughly translated, it’s a day for celebrating what?
d. secret admirers
The expression “wearing your heart on your sleeve” came from the Middle Ages practice of pinning what to that portion of your clothing for a week at Valentine’s?
a. a blue felt heart
b. the name of your crush
c. your lover’s token
d. a name drawn from a hat
In the 1800s, physicians commonly prescribed chocolate to soothe patients who were pining for lost love. In 1868 the first box of Valentine’s Day chocolates was introduced. Who marketed the idea?
a. Russell Stover
b. Walt Whitman
c. Richard Cadbury
d. Milton Hershey
More than eight billion conversation hearts are produced each year. Invented in 1866, they were originally neither heart-shaped nor stamped with clever sayings. With a shelf-life of over 5 years, what were these Necco wafers first used for?
a. breath mints
b. energy bites
c. teething biscuits
d. throat lozenges
Approximately 224 million roses are grown every year for Valentines, with the vast majority of those sold traditionally being red in color. Why red?
a. they don’t turn brown as fast as white, pink, or yellow
b. the red ones are first to bloom that time of year
c. red is the favorite color of Venus, goddess of love
d. our heart pumps red blood (heart = love = red)
The chart-topping “All You Need is Love” required 58 takes to get it right. Which boy band originally recorded it?
a. The Beatles
b. The Bee Gees
c. The Monkees
d. The Beach Boys
Spoiler Alert/ Answer Key
You’ll find the solutions to this little test on page 2 of the printable. If you’re making copies to quiz family or friends, be sure to select “page 1 only” before hitting print. Otherwise, you’ll get twice as many copies as you need, half of which will already have the answers filled in. 🙂
If you don’t like spoilers, you can stop reading now. But for the insatiably curious, here are some other fun facts I gleaned while compiling this test:
The martyrdom of St. Valentine
According to legend, Valentine was martyred for trying to convert the Emperor to Christianity, although that was not the offense for which he was originally imprisoned. Also, I don’t know of any letters to a pro-consul’s daughter, but Valentine did supposedly develop feelings for his jailer’s daughter. He sent her a message the day he was martyred which he signed “your Valentine.”
More Historical Valentines
Catholic history does record at least one Pope by the name of Valentine, although he ruled for less than two months. Records also suggest that two saints by that name were martyred on February 14. Add in all the Catholic Valentines and Valentinas who were put to death at other times of year and the grand total comes to at least eight or nine.
All the historical figures listed in this question were more or less contemporaries, although I accidentally left the “e” out of “Theodoric.” You can be sure I would’ve corrected the misspelling had that been the right answer. Since it wasn’t, I let it stand. Does that narrow it down for you?
Why We Celebrate When We Do
As I already mentioned in question #2, February 14 is the day St. Valentine was martyred. The fact that it falls halfway between Christmas and Easter is just a happy coincidence.
Can You Say This Three Times Fast?
Have you ever seen a word with so many umlauts? I’ve listened to the pronunciation of this word online, and to me, it sounds like OO-stah-vahn-PAH-ee-vah.
While it’s true that Medieval knights would carry the tokens of their lovers when jousting, that’s not the custom to which this question is alluding. The correct answer may surprise you, but if you view it like the American practice of drawing names for “Secret Santas” in the workplace, it doesn’t seem quite so weird.
Of Poets and Candy Makers
“One of these things is not like the other!” Although my father used to buy me a “Whitman’s Sampler” for Valentine’s Day every year, Walt Whitman is a poet, not a chocolatier. The candy maker’s first name was Stephen. So you can rule that Walt out and improve your chances of guessing correctly among the other three.
Keep the Conversation Going
Interestingly, Necco was bought out by another company at the tail end of 2018 and didn’t have time to roll out their normal 8 billion conversation hearts before Valentine’s Day. The company discontinued production for the year 2019, but promises to start in plenty of time for us to have these staple treats in February of 2020.
On Roses and Rose Gardens
You’ll have to check the key for the answer to this question. But on a related topic, did you know my hometown — Tyler, Texas — is known as the “Rose Capital of the World?” It is home to the largest rose garden in the United States, spanning 14 acres. We earned our nickname in the 1940s, when over half the US supply of rose bushes was grown within ten miles of Tyler.
Are You Old Enough to Sing Along?
It was curious to see how evenly split the answers to this question were along generational lines. Our older guests knew the answer right away (and probably could have sung it by heart had we a karaoke machine to keep them in tune). The younger ones were left scratching their heads.