By Benjamin Enriquez
Everybody is familiar with the red carnations — roses for the lucky — and heart-shaped chocolate boxes that mean Valentine’s Day here in the U.S., but what are Valentine’s Day traditions in other countries?
On the other side of the planet, the expense is on the other gender.
Japanese Professor Yuko Kawabe said in Japan, women give the gifts to men, mainly chocolate, on Valentine’s Day.
Men in Japan wait until something called “White Day,” a month later on March 14, to return the gifts to women.
There are two kinds of Valentine’s Day gifts Japanese women favor.
The first, “Giri-choko,” means obligation chocolate.
These are given to males who the women have no romantic interest in. These include co-workers, bosses or male friends.
The second, “Honmeichoko,” refers to a true love chocolate given only to a romantic interest.
No jewelry, roses, teddy bears, or anything of the sort for the Japanese, mostly just a whole lot of chocolate.
In Mexico, traditions of the day vary as well.
Spanish Professor Marta G. Montemayor said Valentine’s Day in Mexico is referred to as “El Dia del Amor y la Amistad,” or “The Day of Love and Friendship.”
Gifts are not limited to people of romantic interest; friends also exchange gifts.
That way no one need feel lonely on Valentine’s Day in Mexico.
If you don’t have a lover, then you celebrate with friends.
Just as in America, love interests give chocolates and roses and enjoy a special dinner together.
Gifts for friends are based on their interests.
Whatever the plans this year, only three days remain to prepare for your special Valentines.