Though celebrating Valentine's Day has only become popular within the last few decades in Germany, there are several traditions the Germans have taken on whole-heartedly. This includes giving cards, sweet treats and flowers to their loved ones on this special day.
The origins of both the man known as Valentinus and the celebration itself are obscure. Little is known about the Roman (or Romans) who may have been a bishop in Terni or a priest in Rome. Although several legends have arisen around the Christian martyr Valentinus, there is no historical evidence that connects him to lovers or today's Feb. 14 Valentine celebration. As in the case of other Christian celebrations, Valentine's Day is more likely based on the pagan Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia that took place in mid-February. The Lupercalia only ended in 495 when it was banned by the Pope.
Contrary to popular belief, Germans are actually quite romantic, especially when it comes to a world love fest day like Valentine’s Day.
Even though in Germany it is customary to express love and affection all the time, many Germans still give items that could be considered romantic on Feb. 14th.
Red is considered as the color of love from ancient times. As people celebrate Valentine’s Day with red rose bouquets worldwide, so does Germany. In Germany it has become a ritual for the young men who were courting to gift his beloved flowers on Valentine’s Day. This ancient symbol of love still has an impact on the teenagers of today's age, too.
Unlike countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a mature people’s festival in Germany. No cool little boy gives pink little heart shaped cards to his girlfriends or friends in school.
As in any other country, gift baskets, pralines or chocolate candies are common in Germany on Valentine’s Day. German stores get filled with all kinds of romantic gift ideas. Many of those gifts are colored in red and pink. People from different parts of Germany may also use the internet as a way to send their love message to their beloved ones. The Valentine’s Day celebration in Germany may not be grand and loud like it is in Brazil or America, but it is elegant.
Popular Valentine's Day phrases in German are: "Ich liebe dich," which means "I love you," and "Kuess mich," which means "Kiss me," and "die Valentinskarte," which means "Valentine's Card."