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Speaker A: Can you imagine it – the average American spends more than $100 on Valentine’s Day! And men spend almost twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do! A survey I read shows that more than one-third of men would prefer not receiving a gift. At the same time, just less than 20 percent of women feel the same way. The reason for this is partly that the holiday seems just too expensive.
Speaker B: As far as I know on Valentine’s Day no one saves money on flowers. No wonder flowers may cost up to 30 percent more that day! Some people even buy and send flowers to themselves on Valentine’s Day. The most popular flower is still the rose, followed by lilies and violets. The colours of flowers are very important as they speak about your feelings and emotions, but many people just don’t pay attention to that and buy whatever they find nice and suitable.
Speaker C: I was surprised to learn that Valentine cards have a very long history. Some scientists believe that the tradition was probably started by Charles, Duke of Orleans, because the oldest surviving Valentine dates back to him, to the year of 1415. It was a beautiful poem written by the Duke to his wife. However some historians trace the roots of the holiday back to the Roman times and their pagan celebrations, or early medieval times.
Speaker D: Do you know, that one billion Valentine cards are sent each year worldwide, making it the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. I’ve heard Hallmark, a big card producer, even employs research staff to analyze the sales pattern of previous Valentines. They analyze ustomer interviews and instore observations to find out which cards’ve been a sell-out this or that year and which age group chooses which type of cards and which is the best poem on the card, and so on.
Speaker E: BBC reports that India has spoken out against Valentine’s Day calling it “an attack on local culture for commercial purposes”. So, I guess they do take it seriously and there are people not in favor of this holiday. The Catholic Church, for instance, struck St. Valentine’s Day from its official calendar in 1969. There even have been times when Valentine’s Day was close to being forbidden.
Speaker F: The University of Maryland has a team of academic experts educating the media about Valentine’s Day — no matter what angle they wish to cover. There, I’ve read that many people choose Valentine’s Day for getting married. Can you imagine? The list of celebrities who’ve done this includes Elton John and Meg Ryan. And quite a lot of famous people have been born on that day!
A — 2: It’s another time to spend money.
B — 5: It’s a traditional Valentine’s Day present and no one should spare money for it.
C — 1: Writing Valentines has a very long history.
D — 3: Valentines make a big business.
E — 4: There’s always something against the Day.
F — 7: Even journalists need information about Valentine’s Day.