Valentine’s Day in Japan

roses

Can you feel it? That ever so sweet twinge in the air that starts in the beginning of February every year and abruptly ends after February 15th. Have you guessed yet as to what I was referring too? You got it, VALENTINES DAY.

Every year, thousands of people begin to scan their brains for ideas on how to make this Valentine’s Day more memorable for their long-time partner or trying to impress their new love as it is their magical first valentine’s day together. Valentine’s Day for couples that are without children and/or young children tend to be more focused on one another while people with older children flock to the idea of a family Valentine’s Day celebration. And last but certainly not least, we have our singles out there that are celebrating by getting drunk with friends bashing exes or those who don’t participate in this commercial holiday whether single or not. I wonder which category some of my readers fall into??? Nevertheless, we all somehow get sucked into some kind of opinion about valentines, good or bad.

Valentine’s Day from where I am from (Canada) is a couple’s holiday where you exchange something on the day of February 14th and that’s the end of it. In Japan, it is a completely different ritual. Here, girls and women of all ages flock to their local grocery and confectionary stores to buy packaging, chocolate, and decorations in preparation for their big day.

February 14th is the day that females will either make homemade chocolates or buy chocolates and give to their male counterparts. This is a chance for some of the more shy Japanese women to have an excuse to direct a subtle hint towards someone they may fancy. But on the other hand, it is also common for female co-workers to give their male co-workers chocolates without any meaning attached. Therefore, if you have an office crush, I suggest that you make a more special chocolate for that secret someone.

Now the real interesting and tricky part is March 14th, also known as “White Day”, men are supposed to return the favor and give chocolates back. Now, this is how you can really tell if the person you fancy is interested because if you receive something back, the saying goes they are also interested in you! These days though in 2015, I never read into it too much the return of chocolates because 1.) Japanese people are all about being polite so I always tend to think I am getting chocolate because I gave chocolate and 2.) They assume that possibly I don’t understand the concept of White Day so I can’t think too deeply like possibly other women.

Either way, I don’t mind! Who is going to turn down chocolate… not me, that’s for sure. I am already anticipating February 14th because some of my students told me they are giving me chocolates!!!!!

How will you be spending your valentines and what traditions do you follow back at home in your country? I will be spending my Valentines day attempting to make these:

pancakes

Ta-Ta for now

Jennifer

XOXO

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