Japan’s Valentine’s & White Day
The 14th of February is recognized as a significant cultural and religious celebration of love and romance honoring Saint Valentine. On this day in many countries worldwide, people give heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to each other as a sign of appreciation and especially love.
In the land of the rising sun, the holiday is a chance for young girls and adults to gift the men in their lives “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate) or “Honmei-choco” (sweet love) to show their affection. Of course, this can apply to either familial, romantic, or platonic relationships, or the lack thereof.
To impress and win the man’s heart, the lady needs to hit the kitchen and make the chocolate by herself. The amusing part is that exactly one month later, on the 14th of March on “White day,” if the guy feels the same for the girl, he is supposed to hand her white chocolates in response.
The White day tradition has also proliferated to other East Asian countries; in fact in Korea, a Black Day is observed exactly 31 days after White Day by people who were unsuccessful in finding a partner.