Unique Two-Prong Valentine Celebration
In Japan, on Valentine’s Day, it’s the women who give gifts to men. Yes, the 14th of February is celebrated differently there. It’s a strong tradition of women giving chocolates to men on Love Day, so much so that you’ll be seeing large displays in department stores and grocery stores of chocolate, usually heart-shaped, from as early as mid-January. Days before Valentine’s, stores are packed with endless varieties of chocolates of every imaginable style and presentation. There are also lots of other non-chocolate choices, as cookies and other sweet treats, also chocolate-making kitchen tools. And women, long ques of them!
Valentine’s Day chocolate is not limited to just husbands, boyfriends or ‘your crush”. Friends, family and office mates are on the list, too. In fact, there are several types of chocolate-giving on Valentine’s Day. There’s Giri-choco, which means ‘obligation chocolate’. The gift is given to friends, bosses, family members, work colleagues or other men who the giver isn’t romantically involved with. It’s an obligation, not to be regarded as a statement of romance.
There’s Honmei choco, the chocolate reserved for a boyfriend, husband or lover, a special someone in your life to shower with affection in the form of chocolate, cookies and other sweet treats. To separate the concept of honmei (meaning loosely ‘real objective’) from others made out of giri (obligation), the women tend to make the chocolate themselves. It’s a sign of how valuable is the object of affection, that extra effort is put into the gift.
Jibun-choco is the chocolate you buy and enjoy for yourself. Tomo-choco is ‘friend chocolate’ and is given by women to other female friends. Gyaku-choco means ‘reverse chocolate’ and is given by a man to a woman. It’s not traditional, hence, not common at all.
Then comes White Day. Exactly one month after Valentine’s Day, men return the favour – as many as three times more the value of the gift they received from any woman. On March 14, men of all ages are expected to give gifts, three times more the worth, to any woman from whom they received giri-choco from the month prior. Men are expected to give chocolates and other gifts like handbags, lingerie, apparel, or flowers that come in white color.
For Men and Ladies: Valentine’s at FLO
Looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Bellevue (or even on White Day)? What lovely way to show affection than an exquisite dinner at Flo. Be sure to book a table soon for a hassle-free Valentine’s Day.