Friday, 14 February 2014
Valentine's Day in Japan
Is Valentine`s Day celebrated in Japan?
Yes Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan but it is celebrated in a slightly different way to how people in Europe celebrate.
What gifts are bought?
The most common gift is boxes of chocolates. You can find Valentine`s chocolates in all types of shops from convenience stores to department stores. When we were in Osaka we went to look at all the chocolates in Daimaru, they were all packaged so prettily. Also there was the benefit of the fact that in Japan they often have small pieces to taste! People don't tend to give flowers or cards.
Who gives the chocolates?
The main difference in Japan is that only women give chocolates on Valentine`s Day! Then next month on the 14th of March it is White Day. This is when men are expected to return chocolates to people who they received them from.
Who do you give them to?
Valentine`s Day chocolates aren't just for your boyfriend. 'Honmei choco' are given as presents of love whereas 'giri choco' are given to people you feel obliged to, such as your boss or colleagues. A recent phrase is 'tomo choco' which is chocolates you give to your female friends.
I find it interesting that Valentine`s Day is celebrated differently in different parts of the world. How are you going to celebrate?