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Valentines / White Day / Black Day?

So we all know what Valentine’s Day is. Celebrated the world over as a day of Love and Romance, giving of chocolates, flowers, cards and jewelry. But did you know that in The United Kingdom there is no white day, or that in Korea they also have what is known as Black Day?
So is Valentine’s Day a fairly recent celebration?
Actually the history of Valentine’s Day is a bit unknown and although no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, the ancient Romans may be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. The Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the ‘must have’ in the Middle Ages. Eventually, the tradition made its way to the USA, Australia, New Zealand etc. The industrial revolution ushered in factory-made cards in the 19th century.

Valentines Shakespeare
How’s it celebrated in the U.K?

In the United Kingdom, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the same day as the rest of the world, February 14th. In Western countries Valentine’s Day involves Men and Women exchange gifts such as chocolate, flowers or candy on the same day, February 14th. If there is someone you like but are too shy to speak to etc, many people send cards that have a phrase like “Be my Valentine” which is left anonymous, e.g. it could be from anyone around you! However, Valentine’s Day is not followed 1 month later as in Japan by ‘White Day’.

What about White Day?

White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day. In 1977, a Fukuoka-based confectionery company, Ishimuramanseido, marketed marshmallows to men on March 14, calling it Marshmallow Day (マシュマロデー ) Soon thereafter, confectionery companies began marketing white chocolate. Now, men give both white and dark chocolate, as well as other edible and non-edible gifts, such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value, or white clothing like lingerie, to women from whom they received chocolate on Valentine’s Day one month earlier. lowers and other gifts are also given on this day. Eventually, this practice spread to the neighboring East Asian countries of South Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. In those cultures, White Day is for the most part observed in a similar manner.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

And Black Day?
Black Day is an unofficial holiday observed on April 14 each year. It is mostly observed in South Korea by singles. The day is associated with Valentine’s Day and White Day as a holiday on the 14th day of the month. On this day, people who did not receive gifts on the previous two days gather and eat Jajangmyeon, noodles with black sauce. This day is specifically for single people.
jewelry (米) jewellery (英) アメリカとイギリスでスペルが違うんです!
Be my Valentine 私の特別な人になってください
anonymous 無記名の、匿名の
confectionery ケーキやクッキーなどのお菓子全般