In Japan, Women Give Out the Chocolates During Valentine’s Day
And each one also has a different meaning.
Valentine’s Day is an event that’s widely celebrated by couples around the world. In most countries, this is the day when men freely express their feelings towards women they like. In Japan, however, they celebrate Valentine’s Day in a different manner. Women, instead of men, are usually the ones expressing their feelings towards men by giving them chocolates.
This might sound surprising, especially for people who are unfamiliar with Japan’s Valentine’s Day culture, but the real reason behind this tradition was actually popularized by a well-known chocolate company in Japan whose initial marketing strategy was to increase their sales for chocolate. In fact, this strategy was so effective that to this day, women are keeping the tradition alive by giving men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Over time, this convention has evolved into a chocolate-giving tradition, and for a lot of women, the perfect day to confess their love.
There are different types of chocolates being given out on Valentine’s Day in Japan, each one with a different meaning and significance. Read on to learn more about them:
Honmei Choco (True Feelings Chocolate)
The Japanese give out the Honmei Choco as a way of expressing their “true feelings” for their significant other. They usually make these chocolates from scratch and give them to the person they’re confessing their love to.
If you watch a lot of Japanese dramas or anime, you’ll come across many scenes featuring high school girls confessing their love for their male classmates right after class.
Giri Choco (Obligatory Chocolate)
The Giri Choco is usually given to men whom women do not have any romantic feelings for. Instead, they express “gratitude” for those who have been with them along the way.
The people who give out these chocolates might expect to receive something in return during White Day, which is held on March 14.
Tomo Choco (Friend Chocolate)
The Tomo Choco is a chocolate that’s given by girls to each other as a sign of friendship and gratitude.
Gyaku Choco (Reverse Chocolate)
For men who are interested in giving chocolates to the girls they like, they purchase a reverse chocolate called the Gyaku Choco.
As the name implies, the My Choco is a chocolate that you give to yourself. Some people give it as a reward for themselves when they are successful. Others buy it when they achieve a goal.
Fami Choco (Family Chocolate)
In Japan, people are also encouraged to give chocolates to their parents and relatives. Fathers would normally wait eagerly for their daughters to give them some Fami Choco.
Valentine’s Day is a day when people express their feelings towards the people they love by giving them flowers and presents. For most people, this is not limited to a single gender. The chocolate-giving tradition in Japan is mostly performed by the younger generation. Either way, these chocolates often symbolize the giver’s deeper and truer intentions towards their families, friends, and loved ones.
Provided by Karaksa Media Partner (24 January 2019)
Photo courtesy of iStock