February 12, 2009

In Japan: Two Valentine's Days!

As blogger Dream Senshi pointed out to me, Japan celebrates two Valentine's Days. If you've never heard of this before, please join me in exploring the unique customs of Japan's Valentine's Day and White Day! ShoyuJapan.com explains the basics in this video:

Japan shares our February 14th Valentine's Day, except the traditional Valentine's Day roles are reversed: girls give gifts to guys! Then, on March 14th, guys return the favor by giving marshmellow candies and white chocolate (the "White" in White Day). Much like the act of chocolate giving on Valentine's Day in America, Japan's White Day was the result of marketing by confectionery companies; notably confectioner Ishimuri Manseido, who campaigned for men to return Valentine's Day favors with their marshmellow candies as early as 1965.

Can you imagine having two Valentine's Days? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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