Everyone knows about Valentine’s Day and everyone’s probably had their share of good and bad ones. In Japan, there are two days to feel the love.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Craig and I had dinner at Nobu and exchanged cards and cheap treats (Correction: Craig found a card written in English for me and I made him one, since I failed on that front. But hey, it’s the thought that counts).
February 14 is still Valentine’s Day here, but the tradition is flipped — this is the day the woman in the relationship shows love for her man. Traditionally, she presents him with either honmei-choco, which is known as “chocolate of love,” or with giri-choco, which is “courtesy chocolate” or “obligation chocolate.” The candy can be either homemade or store-bought and is meant to signify a pledge of love for a significant other or friendship and loyalty in a platonic relationship. Sure, you can do the dinner and movie thing or the any other romantic outing, but if you’re looking to follow tradition, you’re done, girl.
One month later, on March 14, the men return the favor. They have all month to decide what to do for that special lady on what is known as White Day. Started in 1978 by the National Confectionery Industry Association, White Day is celebrated by the man giving gifts or chocolate in return for those received on Valentine’s Day.
Craig learned about this tradition from some of his female colleagues who encouraged him to participate. Thanks for lookin’ out, ladies!
I found online the value of the gift given by the man is supposed to be at least twice the value of what he received, but that could just be a personal choice. Other suggested gifts beyond candy were jewelry and white lingerie (anything white in general will do). You could also do something for her that shows your love in another way, like cooking her dinner. Be creative!
Craig surprised me with my favorite perfume (I ran out of it right before the move), a bottle of champagne and some cookies he knows I love (little koalas full of chocolate my sister and I snacked on as kids). With the move, I’ve certainly had my share of good and bad days and it’s nice to feel appreciated. I am one lucky lady.
I’m excited for Valentine’s Day and White Day next year when we can each take a day to celebrate the other person. And to my ladies back home looking to inspire their man to an act of romance — you’re welcome. Spread it like wildfire.