Be My Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is one of events which is known all over the world and celebrated in many countries. How do you spend Valentine’s Day in your country?

Japanese celebrate this day in their own way. Valentine’s day in Japan is for men!
In Japan female present gifts to their boyfriends, husbands, friends on February 14. You would say “It is not fair!” But eventually the pay-off for ladies comes after one month on March 14. Japanese created the White Day when men return gifts to women. It is very unique but Valentine’s Day is celebrated on two different dates in the country of Japan.

As we all know Japan adopted some Western traditions, but these traditions has been celebration in Japanese ways. Valentine’s Day is not an exclusion.

One more unique tradition that the main gift for Valentine’s Day is chocolate. Some ladies also give other gifts depending on their ideas.

Why in Japan Valentine’s Day is for men?

While adopting the tradition of Valentine’s Day, people probably lost in translation. But on some point it became “the only chance in a year for Japanese women to express their feeling to a man they like”. There is another stereotype that Japanese men are very shy in expressing their feelings and February 14 is a chance for women to show it. Though nowadays Valentine’s Day might be for different purposes. Also many“traditions” have been created by commercial organizations. For this event, chocolate companies that sell more than a half of year chocolate’s sales during couple weeks before Valentine’s Day. Explant opportunity for chocolate companies to boost their sales, because the chocolate and the cooking tools for it are everywhere in stores from the end of January. Companies do quite a big marketing punch, by making commercial, setting up chocolate displays and posters.

Women give chocolates not only to their boyfriends, but also co-workers, bosses, or friends. But don’t get shocked, because there are two or three types of chocolate.

First type is a “Honmei-choco” which is meant to be a gist for special ones (husbands, boyfriends, lovers). They also call it “a true love” chocolate. Some young Japanese think that it is not true love if they just buy a chocolates for boyfriend in a store, therefore they prepare it by themselves.
Second type is “Giri-choco” was made to be a gift for male friends, co-workers, and male executives. In Japanese“Giri” means obligation, thus this type of chocolate expresses respect or gratitude and no romantic feelings are involved. In Japan if you do someone a favor, a person would feel obligated to give something back. Traditionally people in Japan send delicious gifts. Giri-choco is never homemade, women usually buy it in a store.
Another type of chocolate is “Tomo-choco” which is usually given to female friends as a female.
The most expensive and luxury chocolate is selling in Ginza and special European chocolate companies.

The White Day

Exactly one month after Valentine’s the chocolate is supposed to be returned to their senders.
Men give white chocolates to women who sent them chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
Due to the name of this event the color of chocolate is meant to be white. But it does not have to be white, many women get different types of chocolate. Nowadays people also present things or flowers to their special ones.

Probably it may not be easy to get used to these traditions for some foreigners who work and study in Japan, but some people mix traditions and celebrate Valentine’s in their own manners along with getting chocolates.

We wish you to spend a wonderful Valentine’s Day and eat a lot of chocolate!