VALENTINE’S Day is on February 14, and in Japan – unlike in other countries – the women give men gifts. The gift is usually chocolate and the kind of chocolate you receive will say a lot about the feelings of the person it is from.
There are three types: giri choco (obligatory chocolate, for colleagues and male friends), honmei choco (chocolate for the man the woman is serious about) and tomo choco (for the woman’s female friends). The more expensive the chocolate the more likely it is a honmei choco. If the woman makes the chocolate herself, it is a definite sign of love.
The favour is returned to the ladies on White Day celebrated one month later on March 14. Together with (usually white) chocolate the woman might receive flowers, and if she is special to him she could even be given a piece of jewellery. Even the most forgetful man cannot pretend that White Day slipped his mind, because department stores across Japan will display plenty of reminders as the day approaches.