Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you …
Flowers, candies, and poems are just a few of the ways people express their love to each other on February 14. Though Valentine’s Day has become a very commercialized holiday, it’s still a big day for many people to get together and exchange gifts. In the United States, some people give greeting cards, while others may send roses or chocolates.
In Japan, it’s completely about chocolate! There are even more interesting traditions on Valentine’s Day in Japan, though. On February 14th, it is only women who give out chocolate. That doesn’t mean men, or anyone else who received Valentine's chocolates, have it easy, though! A month later, on White Day, a holiday unique to Japan, the men who received chocolates are expected to return the favor.
On Valentine’s Day, you’re probably thinking about presents to give to people in terms of romantic partners, family, or friends. In Japan, there’s also different levels of chocolate given out, and a whole set of Valentine’s vocabulary to go with them too!
Honmei choco (本命チョコ; literally “favorite chocolate”) goes to your truly loved ones. They can be handmade or chocolate bought from high-end confectioners. Best friends get tomo choco (友チョコ; friend chocolate). Finally, for male coworkers women don’t necessarily want to give chocolate to, but feel like they need to, there’s giri choco (義理チョコ; obligatory chocolate).
Needless to say, Valentine’s Day is a pretty big deal in Japan! This Valentine’s Day, how about treating your loved ones to the sweetest Japanese snacks!
Love in Luxury
Sure, you could give jewelry on Valentine’s Day but, if the way to your loved one’s heart is through their stomach, they’ll adore these glamorous goodies!