As all of us should know, the day of romance we call Valentine‘s Day is about the many people who exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” We also know that Valentine‘s Day is widely celebrated basically everywhere around the world, but did you know that there is another holiday that comes one month after it, that works in similar ways to each other except its all about the guys giving gifts?
You’re already aware that Valentine’s Day is a few months away, and Easter is the next chocolate holiday to come after it. But Valentine’s Day would not be over just yet in other places, a holiday celebrated on March 14, one month after Valentine‘s Day is called White Day. In Japan and other Asian countries including Taiwan, South Korea and China, will celebrate White Day.
Typically, women shower men with chocolate and gifts on Valentine’s Day, and White Day is when men are supposed to return the favor by buying two to three times more expensive gifts for the women on White Day. The name stems from the giving of primarily white gifts, like white chocolate and lingerie, by men as an answer to Valentine’s Day gifts. In recent years, the exclusively white nature of the holiday has changed to include both dark and white chocolate, other shades of lingerie and non-chocolate candies like lollipops. Many convenience stores set up large displays out in front of their shops, with a heavy focus on chocolate and chocolate candies like Ferrero Rocher, Twix and Chupa Chups.
There is a strong tradition of women giving chocolates to men on Valentines Day. There are two types of chocolates, “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate), and “Honmei-choco.” Giri-choco is meant to be for friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends.“Giri” means obligation meaning that Giri-choco has no romantic meaning involved. On the other hand, Honmei-choco is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love.
Here is an interesting fact to know about: Japanese women often prepare the Honmei-choco by themselves as many of them think it is not true love if they just buy the readymade chocolate at shops.
Another interesting fact to know about: Lovers in Taiwan have not one but three Valentine’s Days to celebrate, which just goes to show you that Taiwan is a little island big on romance. People celebrate the Western Valentine’s Day on February 14th, the Chinese lunar Qi-Xi on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar, and the one that originated in Japan, White Day. -Donato Castrejon-Solis