Ever wondered how the Japanese celebrate Valentine's Day? Have you ever heard of Valentine's Day and White day in Japan? In this article we will see everything about these and other commemorative dates for couples in the land of the rising sun.
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Valentine's Day – February 14th
On February 14th, the holiday Valentine's Day [バレンタインデ]) takes place, this is the name given to Valentine's Day in some countries.
Valentine's Day was introduced in Japan in 1936, influenced by the West and with the help of the chocolate industry in order to boost sales of chocolates.
In the 1960s, the famous tradition of giving chocolate to the loved one emerged. And who does it? It's not men! On February 14th, thousands of women prepare their chocolates to give not only to loved ones, but to anyone who is part of their lives.
Types of Chocolate for Valentine's Day
Below we will leave the types of chocolates that are usually given to boys. Some are for loved ones, others are for friends or out of obligation.
- 本命 チョコ (Honmei choco) – These are chocolates given to a loved one, boyfriend, lovers or people with a romantic connection;
- 義理 チョコ (Giri choco): It's the must-have chocolate. The term “Giri” means “obligation”, so these types of chocolates do not have any romantic associations. They are intended for friends, co-workers, bosses, people with whom you have a social connection;
- 友チョコ (Tomo choco): This is the chocolate given to close friends, to show affection and friendship;
- ファミリーチョコ (Family Choco): As the name implies, they are chocolates for gifting family members, husband, parents, cousins and others;
- 逆チョコ (Gyaku choco): It is not common, but it refers to the act of exchanging chocolates between men and women;
Preparing for Valentine's Day
The good thing about this date is that not only loved ones, but most friends and relatives receive chocolate. So the chocolate industry prepares a gigantic marketing of its stores for this time, creating several advertisements and different chocolates to attract public attention. Girls need to prepare their pockets if they want to gift everyone.
Giving bought chocolate to someone you want to conquer is not a good idea. Some girls prepare their homemade chocolate, putting all their effort and affection, writing with icing, looking for a perfect recipe, to create the best chocolate and give it to the loved one, some with intentions to declare themselves.
Bizarre Cases on Valentine's Day
Unfortunately, these girls in love sometimes go off-limits. There are numerous rumors and bizarre cases involving girls who make chocolates for their crushes.
Some girls put in hair, saliva, blood, pubic hair and some even put in period blood when making the chocolate. You can't know why, it's probably some miraculous pact to conquer the loved one.
Otaku men also cross the line. Some underprivileged youths often buy chocolates for their Waifu anime character to give as a gift to himself.
White Day – March 14th
Exactly one month after Valentine's Day, another holiday called White Day takes place, on this date men need to present their loved one with white chocolate or some other gift.
On this date where the chocolates received are returned, some guys usually have romantic dinners, trips or give jewelry to their girlfriend. Some boys wait for this date to give the answer to the Valentine's Day gift.
The day works as follows: all lovers must return the chocolates received. However, men who do not date and received it from friends, work colleagues or even family members, also use this date to give gifts, including some with the awareness that the girl in question did not give it for lack of courage.
An optional rule is that young men must return gifts with gifts that are three times more expensive.
Some gifts have meaning. Gifting cookies can mean "I love you", candy means "I like you" and white chocolate means "let's be friends".
The Origin of White Day
The white day came about because of an advertisement for marshmallows. It was thanks to this propaganda that encouraged the retributions of Valentine Day, that White Day ended up emerging and becoming popular.
In the early years, the day was only known as "Marshmallow Day". It was with the emergence and advertising of new white candy and chocolate factories that the name became White Day.
In addition to Japan, countries such as Taiwan and South Korea also celebrate White Day.
April 14th is still celebrated Orange Day (orange day). On that date, the loved one is presented with oranges or orange gifts to further strengthen the relationship.
Brides in Europe often wear the orange blossom as an adornment, a symbol of productivity and prosperity. It is very likely that this date came about because of this custom, and with commercial purposes logically.
In Korea, this date is called Black Day, reserved for those who did not receive chocolate on the previous dates, they celebrate by eating Chajan-men with black broth.
Christmas is Valentine's Day in Japan
Eve and Christmas in Japan is a date for couples. This date is more similar to Valentine's Day in the West, where couples give each other gifts and have romantic dinners or stay in hotels.
On Christmas Eve, couples usually arrange dates, singles make an effort not to spend this date alone, but rather than Valentine's Day itself. This custom of couples spending Christmas together has been around since the 1930s.
We recommend reading: Christmas in Japan – How do the Japanese celebrate Kurisumasu?
Other Commemorative Dates for Couples in Japan
On the 14th of May, the day of the storm takes place, a date that allows couples who have sworn their love to separate without a problem. In English the date is called “May Storm Day”.
June 12th is also often referred to as Valentine's Day in Japan. Despite not being at all popular among the Japanese, some companies try to popularize the date through photo frame gifts. Some call it Frame Day.
Videos about Valentine's Day in Japan
In short, these two days, both Valentine's day and White day are both good days to give affectionate gifts to those you consider and try to get closer to co-workers, make friends or strengthen some bond!
To finish this article, let's leave some videos talking about these special dates:
Video from our Japan: