Valentine’s Day バレンタインデー


JAPAN Feb. 14. 2021

Cultural Broadcasting Team

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originates from the legend that says Saint Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare husbands from war. Today, Valentine’s day is widely celebrated in every country and culture! 


In Japan,  many girls give chocolate to boys that they love on Valentine’s day. Valentine’s is a big holiday for teenagers to express their love. However, Japanese girl’s give chocolate not only for love, but also for appreciation or friendship. For example when I was in high school, I had a Valentine’s party. At this party, we enjoyed a potluck and desserts. We say the chocolates are for lovers called,  "honmei choco (本命チョコ)." For the chocolate that is just for friendship or politeness, it is called, "giri choco (義理チョコ)." This chocolate is considered a customary gift.


Also, in Japan, there is a day called, "White Day," on 14th March. After, a girl gives “honmei choco” to a guy on Valentine’s Day. The guy says, “Wow, chocolate!” Therefore, when White Day comes around, the guy will prepare a present for the girl because of her previous gift. While Valentine’s day originated outside Japan, White Day was invented in Japan. It became a Japanese holiday tradition. To me, it seems that the origin of white day is the strategy of the sweets company to sell more sweets.


In the United States, Valentine’s Day is the day for couples to express their love by giving them gifts such as roses, flowers, and chocolate. However, it is very common to have cake, specifically chocolate cake. Valentine’s day is typically celebrated by both high school students and older couples. You know it is Valentine’s when a girl receives a giant teddy bear in high school, which she must drag around all eight hours of the school day, and carry on to the school bus (the poor teddy bear!). For older couples, the consumption of alcohol, particularly wine and steak dinners, are typical for Valentine’s


In my childhood, Valentine’s boxes were a significant part of elementary school life. These boxes are usually shoe boxes decorated and have a hole cut out of them. This hole is cut out of the box for students to fill their boxes with candy and cards. These so called, “Valentine’s,” are created by students or bought from grocery stores. The whole class typically does this, and there is a particular Valentine’s party dedicated to the day!


In Germany, Valentine’s day is usually celebrated by couples having a date. If you want to go out on this day, you need to make sure to have a reservation. This is because nearly all restaurants will be booked out. But it usually pays out, since many restaurants have a special Valentine’s Day menu and nice decoration, such as roses and candles, on the table. Also, it is a pretty popular date to propose to one's partner. 


In my childhood, many of my friends (including me) hoped to get a love letter on Valentine’s Day. However, this is less common, in spite of that being a romantic thing to do.

In Israel, we actually have two Valentine’s Days. One is on February 14, and the other one is usually in August (according to the Hebrew calendar). It is a non-official Jewish holiday. Both of those holidays are rather traditional and simple. For example, couples can go on dates, give each other flowers, or chocolates. Basically, it is another special day to spend money  on loved ones.


In Malaysia, locally, we do not celebrate Valentine’s day. However, due to western influence, Valentine's Day is now celebrated in Malaysia. This is because of the influence of western markets. On Valentine’s Day, couples celebrate by giving each other gifts. These gifts are usually in the form of roses, chocolates, jewelry and romantic dinners. However, due to how commercial entities promote Valentine’s Day, the prices are inflated up to 200%. Now couples tend to celebrate a few days before or after Valentine’s Day! 


In addition to this expense at restaurants and retail shops, florists will have a poster outside their door indicating how many flowers you should buy! These flowers are placed in a bouquet and the number of flowers in your bouquet shows your sincerity at a different level. 


A single rose – is often gifted to those you love, a single rose indicates ‘love at first sight’.


2 Roses – you would give two single roses to those you are deeply in love with.


3 Roses – states, “‘I love you.”


4 Roses – the perfect way to say, “‘nothing will come between us.”


5 Roses – is a great way that signifies your love for a special someone. If you want to show a partner or friend how much you care for them, five roses is an ideal option.


6 Roses – this signifies that the person wants to be yours.  If you’re dating someone and wish to take your relationship to the next level, then gifting them with six roses is the perfect way to subtly express those feelings.


7 Roses – when considering the meaning of roses, this quantity signifies infatuation.


8 Roses – if a friend or family member is going through a hard time, eight roses is the perfect number to gift them with as it shows support.


9 Roses – is a symbol of eternal love. You would often give this exact number of roses to those you wish to spend the rest of life with them.


10 Roses – is a simple yet powerful way to tell a special someone ‘they’re perfect’.


11 Roses – “you are my treasured one”.


50 Roses – is unconditional love.


66 Roses – this quantity on the other hand suggests, “‘my love for you will never change”.


77 Roses – this number of roses signifies ‘faith’. You believe that the person you are gifting roses to  is your soulmate.


88 Roses – if you owe someone a rather big apology, 88 is the number of stems to choose.


99 Roses – is to let a special someone know you’ll love you till the day you die.Give them a bouquet containing 99 single roses. 


100 Roses – a gesture of devotion.

Hope you enjoy reading this and now you know how to surprise your other half! Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay tuned for more sharing from us.


JAPAN Feb. 14. 2021

Cultural Broadcasting Team