I love Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter to me that I don’t have a “special someone” to share it with. Nope! Instead, I love that I can wear bright reds and pinks at the same time (clashing, what clashing?), but mostly I love that I have an excuse to eat a lot of chocolate! ;)
Valentine’s Day is a famous event here in Japan, too, although the way they celebrate it is slightly different than what I’m used to in Canada. For example, in Japan, they don’t send each other the cheesy Valentines cards that we do in Canada.
Also, in Japan, it’s usually only girls who give chocolate on Valentine’s Day!
Girls will give out chocolate to the men in their lives, whether out of obligation to co-workers and platonic friends (ギリチョコ, giri-choko) or love for their significant other (本命チョコ, honmei-choko). More recently, some girls will also give chocolate to their girl friends (トモチョコ, tomo-choko).
While you can still buy boxes of chocolate everywhere, a lot of emphasis is placed on homemade chocolate, especially for your significant other. So, alongside the aisles of Valentine’s-themed boxes of chocolate are boxed mixes for truffles and fudge, melting chocolate, and more cute wrapping, sprinkles, moulds, and decorations than you can imagine!
It all seems a little unfair at first – girls give guys chocolates, what about the other way around?! Actually, the guys have their own special day to give chocolates, called White Day. On March 14 (White Day), guys who received chocolates from girls are supposed to return the gesture.
Because I love Valentine’s Day andI love baking, I made white chocolate hearts and chocolate chip cookies to give to my (female) JTEs today!
As for my actual Valentine’s Day plans? This weekend has almost all of the major winter festivals of Akita happening, so with any luck, I’ll be spending the day with friends at some of the wonderful winter festivals around my prefecture!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! ♥