Valentine's Day in Japan: A day for the Girls in love and Chocolate
Japan has their own Valentine's Day culture, but do you know about it?
Waku WakuPublished on 22 Jan 2021, 12:00
1. Valentine’s Day is about CHOCOLATE
In general, Valentine is a day for couples. They spend a romantic day, enjoying dinners or exchanging gifts. Usually, men may prepare women like flowers or gifts.
However, it is not the case in Japan. Japanese Valentine’s Day is almost only about "chocolate".
Almost all supermarkets or stores promote Valentine chocolate gifts from mid-January. The average spending for chocolate in Feb is 4 times more than Aug, which has the least amount of money spent. And in February, it is clearly understood that chocolates are purchased before 14th.
Do you know chocolate companies in Japan make almost half of their annual sales during this time of year?
2. Only "girls" give chocolate
Even Valentine’s day is only about "chocolate", it does not mean that anyone can give chocolate.
It is only the girls who give chocolate in Japan. And mostly, it comes with a confession of love for the boys. They prepare chocolate gifts to build up the courage to tell love to the loved one on Valentine's day.
Nowadays, this culture is more popular for teenagers, mostly from primary to high school students. So on the day of 14th February, many school girls bring chocolates to school with a secret crush on them and tell a love during break time or after school. It’s the day of a girl’s expression of love.
3. What types of chocolate gifts?
While confession of love is considered as the main part of Japanese Valentine’s culture, giving chocolate itself has developed in its own way. In fact, there are many variations of the meaning of chocolates these days.
Do you know some of them?
HONMEI CHOCO (chocolate for true love)
Given to the loved one, normally expensive, famous brand's or handmade chocolate. If she is in one-sided love, chocolate gift means "declaration of love" to the loved one. If she is already in a relationship, it means "proof of love".
GIRI CHOCO (courtesy chocolate)
Given to friends or colleagues, to express daily appreciation and care. While this has become such popular and normal culture now in Japan, giving GIRI CHOCO from ladies can be received as a duty sometimes. Some movements of stopping giving GIRI CHOCO has been occurred recently too.
FAMI CHOCO (family chocolate)
Father, husband, or boy's children,... a chocolate gift which is given to male family members. Mothers or daughters tend to make chocolate sweets or purchase the ones which can be enjoyed together in family after giving them.
TOMO CHOCO (friend chocolate)
Given to girl’s fiends, as exchanging gifts. It can be picked some brand's chocolates or trendy chocolate sweets. It deepens girls' friendships.
JIBUN CHOCO (treating chocolate)
Given to herself. It is a treatment for yourself so it can be a very expensive one!? Worldwide well-known chocolatiers or patissiers release special chocolates or limited collaboration sweets etc., particularly for the Japanese Valentine season. In face, it is a best chance for self-gift for own treatment.
ORE CHOCO (my chocolate)
The one men buy and give it to himself. Recently, men purchase chocolates for themselves too. The reasons are various, but because it is a good chance to find rare chocolates, he generally likes chocolates, or he thinks he won’t get any from girls….and so on. In anyway, why not men enjoy the Valentine's season from their side?
What do you think about Japanese Valentine’s day? A while ago, Japanese Valentine's day was only understood as a the day for "girls give chocolates to loved boys". That's not all meaning anymore nowadays, however, "giving chocolates" seems still remains as key term for Valentine's in Japan.
How about spending "Chocolate" Valentine's Day this year?
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