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Valentine’s day

    1 . Saint Valentine's Gifts for Her     2 . Saint Valentine's Gifts for Him
    3 . Saint Valentine's Gifts for Singles     4 . Interesting Facts About Valentine’s Day
    5 . Valentine's Day in Japan
 el 30 Jan 2009 por Ayumi Nakai

Valentine's Day in Japan

Traditionally, women give men chocolate. But, now things are changing. Women want to eat chocolate too!

Limited editions of the "100% ChocolateCafé" brand
Limited editions of the "100% ChocolateCafé" brand
Limited editions of the "100% ChocolateCafé" brand Green tea truffles Sapporo's chocolate-flavored beer Chocolate-bar shaped T-shirts Morinaga's "Gyaku-choco". The letters are backward One of Saganoaya's chocolate collections
What's Valentine's Day Like in Japan?

On Valentine's Day, the guys are the stars. They wake up happy at the thought of receiving chocolates and bonbons throughout the day. At work and in school, there are always some boys who receive more chocolates than others, a sign of popularity. I remember at my school there was a boy who got chocolates from almost half the girls in class. And then there is always gossip about which girl gave chocolates to what boy. Because this is the day when, traditionally, girls confess their feelings to their favorite guys, with the aim of getting a date with them.

A Japanese company called Morozoff started this tradition in 1936, but it didn't really take off until 1960, when the Morinaga company launched a huge campaign. Today, it is an important event in Japan. This day accounts for 20% of yearly chocolate consumption.

Giri-choco is the most oft-repeated word on Valentine's Day. The word Giri means obligation or duty in Japanese. And, the fact is, people feel obligated to give chocolates to their workmates, bosses, and friends. Although many women could care less about the custom, either because they consider it too superficial, or because they’re just lazy, many others believe it helps improve relationships and shows gratitude and respect.

However, the way chocolate is given is changing each year. Lately, women who have boyfriends or husbands also give chocolate to their partners. Some women also buy chocolates for their female friends, a custom called Tomo-choco (a word derived from tomodachi, which is Japanese for friend). Other women give themselves chocolates, Mai – choco (my in English) and some men also buy bonbons for women Gyaku-choco (gyaku which means backwards in Japanese), because according to surveys, 98.3% of Japanese women would like to receive chocolates from a man. Of course, who doesn’t like getting gifts?

Valentine's Day Gifts

Although people tend to tighten their belts in times of crises, surveys show that, this year, Japanese people plan on spending more on chocolate than ever before. On average, they spend up to 3325 yen (28 Euros) on their ¨favorite people¨ and up to 1172 yen (10 Euros) for Giri-choco. Not bad... A lot of women make homemade chocolates instead of buying them, because it makes a more personal and warmer gift.

In addition to chocolates, other gifts include, accessories, underwear, wallets, or dinners. If you want to give someone chocolate with an original touch, you can stand out by giving them a chocolate shaped T-shirt. Its a limited edition from Seibu and costs 2940 yen (25 Euros). You have to wash it first, since it's compressed using a special manufacturing process. It has a drawing of a bear and heart on the back.

If you're thinking about celebrating the day with chocolate and champagne, why not take some chocolate flavored beer? Sapporo has launched a beer with a touch of bitter chocolate. It's also a limited edition.

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