By Grazia Spina
In Germany and Austria, the most famous holiday for the month of February, Valentine’s Day, is celebrated like it is in the rest of Europe, with hearts of all kinds lots of chocolates and flowers. The Germanic countries have a particular tradition for February 14, however: that of giving a pig (not real of course) made of chocolate as a gesture of good wishes.
American soldiers were the first ones to introduce this celebration in 1950, after the end of the Second World War. They initiated the first Valentine’s Ball dedicated to all people in love.
In Germany, the name Saint Valentine also refers to a historical figure with the same name, originally from Reth, who was very active in the fight against epilepsy. For this reason, in many parts of Germany, hospitals decorate the outside of their buildings on Valentine’s Day.
Here are 5 ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in Vienna (when we can safely travel again):
- Ice skating at the Viennese ice rink (or Weiner Eistraum)
- Relaxing at the Thermal Water Wellness Center, where Zeitausgleich zu Zweit includes an entrance for two people, dinner, a bottle of bubbly, and dessert, all for 59 Euros—not bad!
- Spending an evening at the Jewish Museum, which offers entrance at 5:00 p.m. and a glass of Prosecco
- Taking a guided tour at the Kunst Haus Wien, which includes a glass of bubbly for the guests.
- Enjoying the Vienna Zoo and their Valentinstagaktion, with a special deal of two for the price of one and a guided tour that focuses on animals and their love lives
- Visiting the Leopold Museum, where the expression Liebesrausch gives you two entrance tickets for the price of one.
- Stopping by the Museum of Natural History, where their Valentinstag Special includes a cocktail in the price of your ticket
How about a visit to the chocolate museum?
This is an experience that would appeal to many chocolate lovers visiting Vienna in February:
Schokomuseum offers workshops for couples on how to prepare the best chocolate pralines for Valentine’s Day.
What about a romantic Valentine’s dinner, “German-style”?
If you decide to stay home and prepare a romantic dinner, here are some recipes directly from Germany:
On the Valentinstag Rezepte website, you will find many mouthwatering, romantic recipes.
You could also make Liebesbriefe Keksen—cookies in the shape of envelopes with a love message inside.
Some examples of these German love messages include:
- So viel Herzen sind auf Erden, so viel Herzen lieben dich, doch von diesen vielen Herzen, liebt dich keines so wie ich.
- Jemand im Himmel hat es gut mit mir gemeint, hat dich als Sonnenschein zu mir geschickt, der täglich für mich scheint.
- Wer sein Herz verschenkt, macht das kostbarste Geschenk, das man nur machen kann.
- Du bist die Sonne und das Licht für mich und denke daran, ich liebe Dich! • Mein Herz gehört zu dir. Für immer. Liebe mich, denn ich lebe durch dich. • Meine Liebe zu dir ist so groß und weit wie die Unendlichkeit.
Instructors of German know that “romanticism” as a literary genre was born in Germany.
Finally, here are some beautiful romantic words from a poem by Novalis, one of the great German poets:
Ich sehe dich in tausend Bildern,
Maria, lieblich ausgedrückt,
Doch keins von allen kann dich schildern,
Wie meine Seele dich erblickt.