Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year Feb. 14 in many parts of the world. Germany is no exception. On that day, people give their special ones cards with hearts, chocolates and flowers, and spend time together.
Many people believe the day is an invention of the flower industry that benefits greatly from the increased demand of flowers, which is higher than most other days of the year. However, the origin of this day is not rooted in the flower industry. It is an old tradition and it is not entirely clear where it stems from.
Nevertheless, there are several theories about it.
One of them is about Bishop St. Valentine of Terni, Italy, who lived in the third century. He loved flowers and took care of a monastery garden. According to the legend, he advised young men to not go to war and gave flowers to people. The king did not like his peace mission and St. Valentine was executed.
According to another legend, Valentine, a priest, who was executed Feb. 14, 209, in Rome, performed marriage ceremonies for couples whose marriages were actually prohibited by the class rules at that time.
It was a custom in ancient Rome to give flowers to women on Feb. 14 in remembrance of the goddess Juno who is the protector of marriage and family.
In England and France, traditions around Valentine’s Day have developed since the Middle Ages. During those times, people believed that young women would meet their future husbands on that day.
European immigrants brought the Valentine’s Day tradition to the U.S. and after WWII, American Soldiers brought it back to Germany. And now, it has become very common to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Germany.
While in some parts of the world the custom is extended to friends and family, in Germany it is more focused on romantic love.
Since flower shops in Hessen are open despite the COVID pandemic and chocolates and cards can be ordered online or bought in supermarkets, community members of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden can still celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021 even though romantic dinners in restaurants will have to wait until the lockdown is revoked.
This article is based on German news and online information