Valentine's Day

How is Valentine's Day celebrated in Asia?

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February 04, 2008 10:12PM

Valentine's Day is celebrated in Asia, or more specifically Japan and Korea, as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like. Those who work in offices end up giving chocolates to all their male co-workers. This chocolate is known as giri-choko in Japan, from the words giri ("obligation) and choko, a common short version of chokor累 meaning "chocolate". This contrasts with honmei-choko, which is given to a person someone loves or has a strong relationship with. Friends, especially girls, exchange chocolate that is referred to as tomo-choko tomo means "friend" in Japanese. White Day has emerged. On March 14, men are expected to return the favour to their true love with chocolates on Valentine's Day, but it was originally white chocolate or marshmallows; hence "White Day". Some Asian men have taken it further and lingerie has become a common gift. In Korea, there is an additional Black Day on April 14, and receive nothing from their true loves so the men sit around on Valentine's Day and eat Jajangmyun (Chinese-style noodles in black sauce). In South Korea, there is also Pepero Day, celebrated on November 11, during which young couples give each other romantic gifts. When it all comes out in the wash once again the Asian women get the worst of it. They not only have to buy for their lover, but also for all the men in the office where she works (at her own cost) and it can be extremely expensive, while the men only have to buy for his one true love.