St. Valentine's Day   バレンタインデー

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In Japan, the feast of love is especially of chocolate.

In Japan, the feast of love is especially of chocolate.

Imported from France in 1958, Valentine has quickly established itself as a meeting place for romantics.

Imported from France in 1958, Valentine has quickly established itself as a meeting place for romantics.

Giri choco, also called chocolate obligation, which is offered by social convention and not by love.

Giri choco, also called chocolate obligation, which is offered by social convention and not by love.

Love Is In The Air

In Japan, the taste of love is chocolate: women offer sweets ... by obligation. Men then return the favor a month later on White Day.

Imported from Europe in 1958, Valentine's Day has quickly established itself as a day for the romantic ... and the greedy.

For Japan, February 14th equals chocolate, and shops are buried under a deluge of cocoa at the end of January. It seems that half of the annual sales of chocolate sales take place during this time period ...

Beware, however: the rules are strict! only women give the chocolates! Offered to lovers or secret crushes, these chocolates become honmei choco, and they are generally not purchased from a store but hand made ​​with love.

But social life complicates things: all male associates (colleagues, bosses ...) are entitled to receive giri choko or "obligation chocolate." And to the delight of chocolate makers, the Japanese are very big on social obligation ...

Return on investment

Then on March 14th, return to sender: the Japanese have invented White Day, on which men return the favor for all these chocolate gifts from friends and colleagues with all kinds of gifts (jewelry, candies, baubles ...), as is the "tradition" (White Day was popularized in the '60s).

Again, one must comply with the rules: this White Day return gift must cost at least three times more than the box of chocolates received for Valentine's Day!

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