All around the world, Valentine’s Day is when some people confess or give gifts to those the people they like (usually in the romantic sense). In Japan, it’s still sort of the same. But on this day, only the girls give gifts, especially chocolate.
What’s the color of Valentine’s Day? Red. It’s red around the world, it’s also red in Japan.
Valentine’s cards aren’t very common. Chocolate isn’t really the required thing to give, but it’s become a custom. Don’t worry though, boys also get the chance to give gifts during White Day, held every March 14.
These chocolates that the girls give are either handmade or bought. Bought chocolates are called giri-choko, “giri” meaning “obligation”. These chocolates are given to someone as a sign of gratitude or friendship, not as a sign of romantic interest.
The honmei-choko, or the handmade chocolates, are the chocolates given to a lover or partner. Girls prefer to make these chocolates themselves because they believe that it is a show of love and simply buying chocolates to give their partners won’t count as showing love.
If you’re a female otaku who has seen Valentine’s Day scenes in anime or simply an admirer of Japanese culture and want to give this a try, go ahead! It’s the thought that counts when it comes to honmei-choko.
To all the male otakus/admirers of Japanese culture, best of luck! If you don’t grab your chance during Valentine’s, you can still do it on White Day.