German Valentine's Day Traditions

A rose on a calendar with a heart marking Valentine's Day.
... Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Celebrated only since the end of World War II, Valentine's Day is a fairly recent holiday in Germany. Some German Valentine's Day traditions are completely different from the American concept of the day, while others are much the same. Germans have fully embraced the holiday of love and incorporated their own twists into traditional celebrations.

1 Similar and Different Valentine's Day Traditions

Germans consider Valentine's Day primarily an adult holiday, but children celebrate it by giving gifts of circle heart-chains and silhouette images to friends and teachers. Some German traditions, such as men giving red roses to the women they love, are similar to American traditions. Germans also often exchange Valentine's Day cards and chocolates, but one tradition that is uniquely German is the gifting of large gingerbread heart cookies. Gingerbread hearts are strung on string, decorated with frosting that spells out frank messages about the giver's intentions. Other German Valentine's Day gift traditions include a cartoon pig holding flowers or climbing ladders with bouquets of four-leaf clovers. The pig represents luck and lust.

Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.