Like Halloween, Valentine’s Day is a late addition to Germany. Children here don’t typically exchange valentines in school like I did growing up, and the holiday is mostly for romantic couples here.
The stores here don’t usually sell children’s Valentine’s cards like you would find in the US, but the rest of the trappings of the holiday are pretty easy to find- red hearts full of chocolate, balloons, flowers- Hallmark and FTD would never let a market slip through their iron fist that easily.
That being said, Germany does have its share of interesting traditions that aren’t generally found in the US. Among the red hearts full of chocolate and candy are the green foil wrappings of Lindt’s Der Froschkönig, the Frog King. The connection of the Frog King to Valentine’s Day seems to be based loosely on the Brothers Grimm faery tale of the Frog Prince. Eating a chocolate frog is better than kissing frogs, I guess. In the original Brothers Grimm version, the frog’s spell was broken when the princess threw it against a wall though. Maybe you’re supposed to throw your chocolate frog at the wall also.
Either way, he sure is cute. Here are some of this year’s Froschkönig offerings. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Do you have any interesting Valentine’s Day traditions to share?