Discussion Valentines Day in Japan.

njt

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I'm not sure if many of you know how Japan celebrates Valentines day... Well it goes like this.

This day is the day that women give chocolate to men. Sometimes out of obligation called (giri choko) and sometimes out of interest called (honmei choko).
So yup, women panic, freak out, wonder what to do about what to give their "honey" on this day... some just go out and buy their gifts(either chocolate or some kind of other gift), other buy chocolate melt it and form it into something they want to create on their own for that "home made" touch. But it's a pure women to man day.

You are probably thinking "HEY! That's not fair!!!" But never fear, Men have a day they have to give chocolate. This day is on March 14th called "white day" in Japan... it's a day where the men that received gifts from girls have to give the girls something back. The Gifts are either chocolate or something better. Generally costing more than the original gift they received.

Starting a month or so ago (in Jan) You can see them preparing for Valentines, with TONS of areas with chocolate on sale... same thing goes on until after white day.

Already I've received two presents. One from my wife (she made me brownies.) And another from my student (I guess this was giri choko on her part :p) I still have another class to teach, and this week might prove to get me lots of chocolate... so I'll keep you up to date on what I get( and what I'll have to return.... :p)

Anyways--- I thought the way Japan celebrates this day was kinda unique/different and so I thought I'd share but I was thinking, how about in other countries... do you celebrate it? If so, what do you do?
 

hatakescarecrow

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In singapore we celebrate valantines day by spending massive amounts of money to treat their girlfriends.
 

njt

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For example, what do you do?
 

hatakescarecrow

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Don't ask me. I am well not interested in women in this point my life.
More into studying
And yeah teachers in school get 0 love
 

Leen

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I dont think I can describe the valentine's day well since I am never aware of it's date and also I have never celebrated it before. :D Most of my male friends will normally buy chocolates or roses to give them to their girl friend and the most that they will do will be go out and have a dinner together. It's pretty simple and nothing in particular. :D
 

Miso

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In Germany you also get and give chocolate (both male and female). The most popular gift are flowers though. This is due to massive advertisement.
I believe that the obligation to give a gift is more on the men though. I can't say that objectively. After all it's not much celebrated here so I don't know much about this.

Here are some interesting facts I got from wikipedia:
Valentine's Day in North America

Valentine's Day was probably imported into North America in the 19th century with settlers from Britain. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828 – 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, and she took her inspiration from an English valentine she had received. (Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".)

In the United States in the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to include the giving of all manner of gifts, usually from a man to a woman. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates. Starting in the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving fine jewelry.

The day has come to be associated with a generic platonic greeting of "Happy Valentine's Day."

Those without a significant other often speak with sarcasm by referring to Valentine's Day as "Singles' Awareness Day".

Controversy was brought forth on 16 February 2004 when Nickelodeon aired an episode of Blue's Clues that was an obvious St. Valentine's Day special, yet was referring to the holiday as "Love Day". Nickelodeon was widely criticized for attempting to evade the Christian connotations concerning the Catholic St. Valentine.

In many North American elementary schools, students are required to give a Valentine card or small gift to everyone in the class. The greeting cards of these students often mention what they appreciate about each other. Though this practice has been criticized for possibly being irrelevant or inappropriate, it has continued for decades.


Valentine's Day in Other Cultures

In Japan, Korea and similarly Australia, Valentine's Day has emerged, thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like. Rather than being voluntary however, this has become for many women – especially those who work in offices – an obligation, and they give chocolates to all their male co-workers, sometimes at significant personal expense. This chocolate is known as giri-choco (義理チョコ), in Japan, from the words giri (obligation) and choco, a common short version of chokorēto (チョコレート), meaning chocolate. This is opposed to honmei-choco, which is given to a person that someone loves or has a strong relationship with. Friends (usually girls) exchange chocolate that is referred to as tomo-choco.

By a further marketing effort, a reciprocal day, called White Day has emerged. On this day (March 14), men are supposed to return the favour by giving something to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Many men, however, give only to their girlfriends. Originally the return gift was supposed to be white chocolate or marshmallows (hence the name "White Day"). However, more recently men have taken the name to a different meaning, thus lingerie is quite a common gift.

In Korea, there is also an additional Black Day, held on April 14, when males who did not receive anything for Valentine's Day gather together to eat Jajangmyun (Chinese-style noodles in black sauce). In South Korea, there's also Pepero Day, celebrated on November 11, during which young couples give each other romantic gifts.

In Chinese Culture, there is a similar counterpart of the Valentine's Day. It is called "The Night of Sevens", on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar; the last one being August 11, 2005 [2]. (A slightly different version of this day is celebrated in Japan as Tanabata, on July 7th (the same day, but transcribed to the solar calendar)).

In Persian Culture (Iran) this popular date is discreetly celebrated by most lovers despite the disapproval of such occasion by the hardline Islamic government as a copycat of the west, but Persian youths and adults manage to celebrate following the traditions of the west disregarding the limitations and restrictions imposed by the government.

In Brazil, there is no such day as Valentine's Day. Instead, on June 12, "Dia dos Namorados" (lit. "Day of the enamored", or "Boyfriend's/Girlfriend's Day") is celebrated. On this day, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, exchange gifts (lingerie, chocolates, and more), cards and usually a flower bouquet. This day is chosen probably because it is one day before the Saint Anthony's day, there known as the marriage saint, when many single women perform popular rituals in order to find a good husband (or, more modernly, a boyfriend).

In Colombia, the "Día del amor y la amistad" (lit. "Love and Friendship Day") is celebrated on the third Friday and Saturday in September, because of commercial issues. In this country the Amigo secreto ("Secret friend") tradition is quite popular, which consists of randomly assigning to each participent a recipient who is to be given an anonmyous gift (similar to the Christmas tradition of Secret Santa).

In Mexico, the "Día del amor y la amistad" is celebrated similar to Colombia but this one falls on February 14.
 

hatakescarecrow

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eileenting88 said:
I dont think I can describe the valentine's day well since I am never aware of it's date and also I have never celebrated it before. :D Most of my male friends will normally buy chocolates or roses to give them to their girl friend and the most that they will do will be go out and have a dinner together. It's pretty simple and nothing in particular. :D
Same here nothing but cheesey love notes in school

But i do know the chinese story to valentines day though
 

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In ny region there is a little confusion going on about the Valentines day.
As we all know Valenntines dai is a Western traditon so it was introduced only recently (if you consider 15 years as recently). During soviet times there was a "Womans Day" on 8th of March. As it's naturally for older people become resistant to new things, we now have sort of two such days with men giving presents and mainly flovers to women. Youth celebrate 14th of Feb, having parties and stuff. But elderly people still take also the 8th of March into account. Nowadays some post-soviet politicians still try to revert to 8th March as national holiday.

As for myself, I don't bother being restricted by this date. Chocolate and flowers cost 25% extra these days. Also, when I get the inspiration I can do it any other day of the year. As for today, I believe that some nice words to all our gorgeous female friends (doesn't matter romantic or not) is the best thing to give!

Kisses to every girl reading this! :love :spaz
 

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I used to have a Korean girlfriend that gave me some candy on a return from her trips to Seoul, heh.

These days I'm not in a relationship so not really thinking about it as Valentine's Day but I couldn't resist reading this thread. Thanks Taylor and all you guys for helping us stay aware of how you guys do it ^^
 

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in turkey it goes like this:
boys-->girls

*do not give any gifts/ just kiss her or smthng etc-----------------------------------------> she dumps you
**give her presents such as choclate/rose------------------------------------------------- >she says ok but not next you better do something better
***take her to a romantic dinner and give expensive gifts------------------------------->she says ok and smiles, but thats all
****you buy an extraordinary gift such as a car/ a house------------------------------->she says ok and smiles and "i love you"

girls--->boys

*she looks at his boyfriend such as "what you got???"
 

njt

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WaLkiE said:
in turkey it goes like this:
boys-->girls

*do not give any gifts/ just kiss her or smthng etc-----------------------------------------> she dumps you
**give her presents such as choclate/rose------------------------------------------------- >she says ok but not next you better do something better
***take her to a romantic dinner and give expensive gifts------------------------------->she says ok and smiles, but thats all
****you buy an extraordinary gift such as a car/ a house------------------------------->she says ok and smiles and "i love you"

girls--->boys

*she looks at his boyfriend such as "what you got???"
hahaha that was great :). Thanks :p

Valentines is definitely an interesting day-. Is it on this day for everyone here? I wonder who decided it'd be on this day...

*edit* Read the long wiki entery... hmmm that's interesting, but still I like to hear answers from members here, it's a lot more interesting :).
 

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That's true for America girls as well, walkie XD

I love them anyway, tho. ^^ But it's one of the reasons I'm not especially grief-stricken over not having a gf today ;)
 

Miso

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walkie, that was great! :rofl

njt said:
*edit* Read the long wiki entery... hmmm that's interesting, but still I like to hear answers from members here, it's a lot more interesting :).
Yeah sure. It was just to give you some info. Of course an encyclopedia entry can't replace what you experience today yourself and how you consider the customs in your country regarding Valentine's Day (as walkie already pointed out :D).

Anyways, njt, what do you think of giri choko?
In the most countries Valentine's day is obviously related to giving presents to someone you're in love with. Well...and then again it seems that you have to give chocolate out of obligation in Japan. :s
Do you think it's nice/useful/ok or do you think it's a stupid custom?
 

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At my school in The Hague you could have red roses send to persons you admire/love to be distributed during class, that's really funny :D - but i'm not the popular kind of guy, so i'm just starving in an empty garden... without chocolate... *sends you all some imaginary giri choko* :) - further where i'm from only couples might plan something special ( romantic dinner or something... ) or give small gifts of affection, so not that special a day mostly.
 

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As Khaludh mentioned about school, I remembered about how it used to be in my school.
The interesting thing was "Love mail". There was a postbox set up in the main lobby and everyone could post a letter to another schoolmate. Later that day, before the lessons were over, the letters were brought to the students (usually by senior classe or those who had no assignments). The letter sent doesn't have to be love letter. Mostly those were confessions of sympathy (not the grief one). It's a popular thing in our schools even now.

That way ambience can be made without spending loads of money. :smile-big
 

hatakescarecrow

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WaLkiE said:
in turkey it goes like this:
boys-->girls

*do not give any gifts/ just kiss her or smthng etc-----------------------------------------> she dumps you
**give her presents such as choclate/rose------------------------------------------------- >she says ok but not next you better do something better
***take her to a romantic dinner and give expensive gifts------------------------------->she says ok and smiles, but thats all
****you buy an extraordinary gift such as a car/ a house------------------------------->she says ok and smiles and "i love you"

girls--->boys

*she looks at his boyfriend such as "what you got???"
well said. Same in singapore.
 

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Speaking of valentine in school, our school also had this kind of service. A few weeks before a festival like new year, valentines and so on, some clubs will start distributing papers to every classes and you can order things like chocolates, candies, fragrance candles, flowers and so on. Then, on that day, the club members will start coming to our class and give out the things that are ordered to the respective receipients. So far, I have none and every year, I can only look at other people's gift. :s.
 

Galth

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:glomp haha, it's not like i have ever recieved more then two candy thingies during my five years of school :notrust *shares the pain* ;)
 

Leen

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What about nothing in 11 years of schooling? :D

*shares the pain as well* :glomp
 

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I heard something else called gold day,what is it? I heard it from some show.(cant remember want show though.)
 
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