Be My Valentine…

St. Valentine’s Day is an annual commemoration day held on February 14 celebrating love between lovers.

History of St. Valentine’s day is originated from Roman Empire. Flowers, candy, and gifts are exchanged between lovers in western countries.

Meanwhile in Japan, it is common that women give chocolates to men. This tradition started as a promotional tool for chocolate companies in Japan. There are various stories regarding the origins of  this custom (Morinaga Confectionery Company created, Mary Chocolate Company created, and so on) .

Since Japanese women were shy, so they were encouraged to express their feelings to men who they love by giving chocolates and other gifts on February 14th. But most likely main gifts have been chocolates.

In Japan, often women feel obligated to give chocolates to male co-workers and bosses. We call these “Giri (obligation) Chocolates”. Also recent years, friends give chocolates each others.. it is called “Tomo (friends) Chocolates”.

As a return, men who received chocolates on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts on March 14th. It is called “White Day”. Usually popular gifts are candies, jewelry, and other gifts. White Day was first celebrated in 1978 originally from Fukuoka, Japan.

Even Valentine’s day was originated from western history, Japan tweaked this historical culture to its original way to fit Japanese cultural needs.

Well, now we are here in NY, why don’t we enjoy western original Valentine’s day to express our love to your loved one no matter what genders you are.

Be my valentine….?