In Japan, Valentine’s Day works a little differently. There’s not one but two days of romance, Forbes reports. On Feb. 14, women typically give chocolate to their boyfriends, male friends and superiors. Called the “giri choco” tradition, it wouldn’t be outrageous for a Japanese woman to give 20 obligatory boxes to her colleagues and male friends.
The incredible amount of chocolate giving is thanks in part to how Valentine’s Day started in Japan. According to Bloomberg, the holiday started in the 1950s when a Japanese chocolate manufacturer saw the opportunity to give the economy a lift and make some money. Competitors took note and the holiday took off. Today, Japan’s Valentine’s Day sales account for more than half of the chocolate sold annually in Japan, Bloomberg reports.
But the ladies don’t have to do all the work. A month later, men return the favor. On March 14, known as White Day, men tend to shower their darlings with lingerie, jewelry and of course, more chocolate.