When England's King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine's Day in 1537, I bet he did not think it would be celebrated in so many countries around the world. Find out how this day is celebrated in Asia.
In Japan - Women are expected to give chocolate and other gifts to men on Valentine's Day. This tradition was started as a marketing campaign by Japanese chocolate companies. This has become for many women – especially those who work in offices – an obligation, and they give chocolates to all their male co-workers (especially the boss), sometimes at significant personal expense. This chocolate is known as giri-choco, which translates as "chocolate of obligation."
Men are not off the hook, unfortunately. They are expected to return the favor on March 14th, commonly known as White Day. Many men, however, give only to their girlfriends. The gift should be white (hence the name) and is often lingerie.
In China - Valentine's Day is also celebrated in China, as is the related Daughter's Festival. It is held on the 7th month and 7th day of the lunar calendar and celebrates a love story between the seventh daughter of the Emperor of Heaven and an orphaned cowherd, who were sent to separate stars and only allowed to see each other on this one day each year.
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