How Japan Celebrates Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in Japan is celebrated a bit differently from other countries. Instead of just focusing on expressing their love for one another, it's a time to celebrate relationships among friends and family. Here is an overview of how Japanese people usually celebrate this special day.

  1. The History of Valentine’s Day in Japan
  2. Gift-Giving on Valentine's Day
  3. White Day – A Special Follow-up Celebration
  4. Kokuhaku - Expression Of Romantic Feelings
  5. Hanami - Cherry Blossoms Viewing Parties

The History of Valentine’s Day in Japan

Valentine’s Day first began in Japan in 1958 when chocolate companies promoted the holiday as an opportunity to increase sales. It was only around the 90s when women started gifting chocolate to the men they were interested in or had crushes on. In Japan, February 14th isn't just about romantic love – they enjoy celebrating friendship and platonic relationships with people close to them.

Gift-Giving on Valentine's Day

On Valentine’s Day, Japanese women typically give giri choco (義理チョコ) which is mostly store-bought chocolate that's given out of obligation as a gesture of appreciation or loyalty. The recipient could be anyone from a coworker or friend to a distant relative or boss. There's also honmei choco (本命チョコ)which is homemade and typically given to someone special like a boyfriend or significant other and carries more sentimental value than obligated gift giving.

White Day – A Special Follow-up Celebration

In early March, White Day (ホワイトデー), also called Marshmallow Day, takes place which gives men the opportunity to repay their favor by giving women chocolates, jewelry, flowers, etc – but it was once traditional for them to present white marshmallows! This holiday also serves as an additional opportunity to express gratitude towards each other and show appreciation for any favors received throughout the year.

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Kokuhaku - Expression Of Romantic Feelings

Kokuhaku (告白) refers to confessions; a way to openly express romantic feelings towards someone you may have already gifted your honmei choco during Valentine's Day. Gents who wish to follow up with their confession would do so on White Day through various ways such as writing out poems, having an important conversation over dinner, or simply sending gifts with an accompanying letter confessing their love for her.

  1. "Aishiteru" (愛してる): This is the Japanese word for "I love you," and is one of the most common ways to express love in Japan.

  2. "Anata ni koisuru" (あなたに恋する): This phrase means "I'm in love with you" and is a way to express one's feelings of love and affection.

  3. "Aishiteru koto wa tatakau koto da" (愛してることは戦うことだ): This quote means "Loving is fighting" and reflects the idea that love requires effort and commitment to overcome obstacles and challenges.

  4. "Aishiteru no ga kimi no koto da" (愛してるのが君のことだ): This quote means "The person I love is you" and is a simple, straightforward declaration of love.

  5. "Koi ni ochite iku" (恋に落ちていく): This phrase means "Falling in love," and is a common way to describe the feeling of being swept away by love.

Hanami - Cherry Blossoms Viewing Parties

Hanami (花見 ) is all about appreciating beauty and enjoying nature with the company during the Spring season when Cherry Blossom trees start blooming– making it another popular cultural activity during Valentine's season in Japan! People usually gather at nearby parks filled with Sakura trees either as individuals or couples. In contrast, others decide to plan group viewing parties just like picnics where they eat food together while admiring the scenery before them.

Did you know chopsticks symbolize the wish for the recipient to have a long and harmonious life, in Japan? However, Japan, China, and Korea have unique styles of chopsticks that can make it difficult to know which to pick. From their materials to their etiquette, by the end, you'll know exactly the difference between Japanese, Chinese, and Korean chopsticks. 

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