Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Don't Give Chocolate On Valentine's Day!

Most guys don't here. Same goes for Korea. The holiday is split in two with only the ladies doing the giving on Feb. 14th.

Here's the deal:
There's a Valentine's Day clone called "White Day". White Day falls on the 14th of March. The ladies give presents in February, and the gents hand them out in March.

The system definitely works in the lads' favor! There's no guessing involved. You simply collect your chocolate in February, and then return some in March. Many people simply hold on to their chocolate for one month (without opening it), and give it to someone else in March.

In essence, so long as one receives gifts from at two people, one wouldn't have to spend any money on these twin holidays. Nice nice! That is, of course, assuming that one is single. If you are in a relationship, then I imagine that most people would have a hard time avoiding spending money at this time of the year.

Another nice part of the set-up over here is that guys can sort of sit back, and hope that the lady (or lad) that most interests him has similar feelings of adoration. If she comes through with a really nice present, then that could be a good signal that she's interested as well. The guy then has a full month to think about the best way to react to the gift. Candlelight dinner? Trip for two to Nagano for some skiing? A sonnet?

You do have to be careful not to get worked up over a simple gift of chocolate from someone you fancy though. The concept of girichoco is an important aspect of the game. Girichoco is chocolate that you are pretty much expected to hand out. Colleagues, teachers, classmates, and teammates are often on the receiving end of girichoco. It's a nice gesture, but it usually has little meaning.

I just make sure to make a list of all the people I received chocolate from so that I won't forget who I need to give girichoco to on White Day. I also use post-it notes to mark who each box of chocolate/cookies is from. That way I won't end up giving the same box back to the lady who gave it to me back on Valentine's Day.


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