We all know about St Valentine, marrying eloping couples in love when it was not approved. There are so many versions of the tale, but one thing we can agree on is that Valentine’s day has grown into a global day of spoiling loved ones, blind dates, chocolates, mugs and teddy bears.
Girls everywhere are secretly holding their breaths and even the less romantic ones are hoping for at least a teddy or flower. Don’t deny it! Girls everywhere, except for Japan.
In Japan, it will be the boys waiting for their chocolates. Valentine’s in Japan is marked by the girls and women handing out hand-made or bought chocolates to their crushes, boyfriends and husbands, and even friends, colleagues and male family members are treated. Now it might sound like the girls are missing out here…but it gets better.
Exactly a month after Valentine’s, White Day arrives. On the 14th of March, men who had received “chocolate of love” or “courtesy chocolate” are expected to return the favour in the form of gifts; so girls can expect jewellery, underwear or sweeties in return! Even if there is no romantic interest, obligation requires the men to return the favours, so all the hard work of delivering chocolates to all the men on Valentine’s Day is rewarded by treats a month later. There is also a general rule that the returned gift on White Day should be triple the value of the original gift, so the girls really do end up winning this one! And we thought we were getting spoiled with a teddy…