February '19 Bokksu: Love Story
February is one of Japan's coldest months, which means it's the perfect time to stay warm indoors and cozy up to loved ones! It's also the season of love with Valentine's Day celebrations throughout the country and Japan's unique gender reversal: only women gift chocolate to men! Traditionally, there are two reasons for gifting chocolate in Japan. The first reason is out of obligation to give chocolate to people who've helped you throughout the year like coworkers and acquaintances (giri-choco). The second more romantic reason is to confess secret love through the shy gifting of handmade chocolates (honmei-choco) to a crush. Fortunately, in recent years these strict traditions on Valentine’s Day have relaxed and expanded. Now it's common for friends of both genders to exchange chocolate (tomo-choco), and there are even public events were husbands and boyfriends get on stage and shout their love for their significant others to the world!