Valentine’s Day in Different Cultures
Did you know that, in Japan, it is only the women who give presents (mainly chocolates) to men. In the past, Japanese women were often too shy to openly express their love so Valentine’s Day was thought to be an opportunity to let them express their feelings. Men are supposed to return gifts to women on a day called “White Day” (March 14th), a day totally made-up by the Japanese but certainly is an additional marketing opportunity!
In South Korea, like Japan, women give chocolate to men on February 14th, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on March 14 (White Day). April 14th is called “Black Day” because men who did not receive anything on the 14th of February and women who did not receive anything on the 14th of March go to a Korean restaurant to eat black noodles and “mourn” their single life.
In Taiwan the situation is the reverse of Japan and South Korea. Men give gifts to women on Valentine’s Day, and women give gifts to men on White Day.
In China, Valentine’s is celebrated on the 7th day of 7th lunar month (August 23rd in 2012). On this auspicious day people in love like to go to the Temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and the possible marriage in China. People still single will do the same thing to ask their luck of love in the Matchmaker temple.
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