Traditions of Minne and St. Valentine
Song and culture in Germany in the Middle Ages was dominated by the concept of Minne. Minne refers to passionate but platonic love which the knights felt for a noble lady and a Minnesaenger, who travelled from castle to castle, praised the virtues of the ladies. The most famous Minnesaenger was Walther von der Vogelweide. More than 80 of his songs survive.
Minnegesang - minnesong
Minnesaenger - minne singers
Burgfraeulein - Lady of the castle
Tugend - virtue
Leidenschaft - passion
Valentine's Day on the 14th of February does not have a long tradition in Germany. It has only been celebrated since about World War II. Although the Anglo/Saxon tradition of cards, flowers and sweets has found its way into German custom, Valentine is restricted to adults. No kids exchange cards; it is an exclusively mature affair.
Valentin Karte (f) - valentine card
Here are a few sayings related to Valentine; oddly all refer to weather predictions.
Kalter Valentin - frueher Lenzbeginn = if it's cold on Valentine, spring will come early. (Note: Lenz (m) is the poetic word for spring = Fruehling (m)
Ist's am Valentin noch weiss, blueht zu Ostern schon das Reis = if there is still snow on valentine, trees will bloom on Easter (again, Reis (n) is a poetic name for branches = Zweige)
Liegt am Valentin die Katz in der Sonne, kriecht sie im Maerz intern Ofen voll Wonne = if the cat is sunning itself on Valentine, it will happily crawl behind a warm stove in March