Valentine’s Day & White Day

Giri-choco and Honmei-chocoYears ago a good friend of mine spent a few years in Japan living and working. He was the one who informed me of Japan’s traditions surrounding Valentine’s Day. February 14th is a day reserved for women to treat the men in their lives to chocolate. Not only that but specific chocolate dependant on the relationship you have with the man. There are two types of chocolate given, Giri-choco and Honmei-choco.

Giri-choco is meant to be for friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends. “Giri” means obligation hence this Giri-choco has no romance involved. On the other hand, Honmei-choco is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love. Japanese women often prepare the Honmei-choco by themselves as many of them think it is not true love if they just buy the ready-made chocolate at shops. Lucky for women in Canada, we can run to our local shops and purchase chocolate and treats guilt free.

Exactly a month later on March 14th White Day occurs and the men reciprocate the gesture of giving gifts to the woman he received chocolate from in February. As the name implies most of the gifts given are white in color. Many department stores and shops will have displays out well in advance to help men remember the day is approaching.

I often think that it is a shame that in most cultures we require special days to recognize our loved ones. In a perfect world we would show our love and appreciation for one another every day. Until we master that skill Valentine’s Day will continue to be the day that couples remind each other just how special they are. Treat your honey to something sweet. The Bakery will have lots of options this year, including chocolate dipped strawberries, cheesecake and rich velvety ganache.

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