Unlike Brazil, where the date is celebrated on June 12, in Japan the Valentine's Day it's celebrated on the day February 14. The date is called バ レ ン デ ー (Valentine's Day) when women give gifts to men expressing their love and affection. This tradition was brought from the US to Japan at 1936 by the chocolate companies that wanted to introduce the Valentine's Day.
At the beginning, the date led lovers to express their feelings by introducing loved ones, but over time, it was agreed that only women would gift with the chocolates.
At that time, the market of the chocolate industry managed to concentrate almost half of annual sales. This is because it is no longer a day celebrated only among lovers, but also to friends, family and co-workers, gaining characteristics different from the other countries.
While other countries are celebrating the Valentines Day only once a year, in Japan is it celebrated twice. On 14 in February, it is only the women who present the men with chocolates and on March 14 it is the turn of the men to reciprocate the chocolate in the White day, a celebration invented exclusively in Japan by the chocolate maker.
This culture of delivery of chocolates has become so strong, that there are different types of chocolates for different people.
They are classified in 5 types:
- (I.e. チ ョ コ (Giri choco):It is the chocolate that we give to people who have a social obligation, bosses, customers and male co-workers. The term "Giri" means "must," therefore, these types of chocolates have no romantic associations.
- 本 チ ョ コ (Honmei choco)This is chocolate for true love. The women deliver this chocolate to the man they are in love with. If they are not dating, the gift serves as a statement.
- 友 チ ョ コ (tomo choco):This is chocolate given to close friends as a way of showing affection and friendship.
- フ ァ リ チ チ コ コ (Family Choco): They are the ones that we buy to give to the relatives like husbands, parents, grandparents, children, uncles, cousins, brothers and that is, any male person that we have a family connection.
- 逆 チ ョ コ (Gyaku choco):Although it is a recent custom, Gyaku choco means to exchange chocolates between men and women on Valentine's Day.
History of Valentine's Day:
Valentine's Day, in some countries called Valentine Day it is a special and commemorative date in which the loving union between couples and boyfriends is celebrated, in some places it is the day to show affection between friends. It is common to exchange cards and gifts with a heart symbol, such as the traditional boxes of chocolates. In Japan, America, Portugal, Angola, as well as in many other countries, it is celebrated on February 14th. In Brazil, the date is celebrated on the 12th of June, the eve of the day of Santo António de Lisboa, known for the fame of “Santo Casamenteiro”.
At 14 in February, when we share chocolates, special dinners or cards with our loved ones, we do this in the name of St. Valentine.
But who was this saint of romance?
Valentine's Day is named after a famous Saint Valentine, a legend claims that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II forbade marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt that this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was arrested and sentenced to death.
There, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14, he sent a love letter signed "Your Valentine" from his boyfriend. An expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine's legends is obscure, all the stories emphasize their appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly, romantic figure.