Valentine’s Day in Germany

by Mark F. Weber on February 1, 2011

Germans celebrate Valentine’s Day like many countries.  Cards, candy, gifts, and romantic dinners are part of the ritual.  What is different is a pig.  No, it’s not to eat.  The pig is a symbol of luck and lust on German Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day in Germany is a relatively new holiday, adopted just after the Second World War.  Flower shops, candy stores, and gift retailers are decorated in red hearts and bows.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, German per capita pork consumption is 53 kg/117 lb.  America is roughly half.  Germans love sausages, hams, and other pork dishes.  Does this type of food passion lead to romance?

The German Valentine’s pigs are cute and fuzzy.  They are featured on cards and displays, decorated in flowers and symbols of luck, like four-leaf clovers or dice.  Pigs are also lusty symbols.  The German Valentine’s pig implies with a little luck the evening will lead to romance.

When traveling in Germany on Valentine’s Day, look for the pigs on cards and in the windows, not necessarily on your plate.

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I am an international business professor in Pittsford, NY who managed a business unit for a German company. My passion is family and friends, plus roaming the countryside on my road bicycle.

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