POTD: Valentine’s Day 2014

It’s Valentine’s Day today. This year, it coincides with Chap Goh Meh – the fifteenth and final day of the Chinese New Year – which many consider the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Here’s wishing all lovers a most romantic day/night!

Lots of lovey-dovey couples here, in the form of hugging salt and pepper bottles. I took this photo at the Hakaniemi Market Hall in Helsinki, Finland in summer. There were plenty of such charming craft stores for tourists and local Finns. Taken with a Nikon D600 with AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

Lots of lovey-dovey couples here, in the form of hugging salt and pepper bottles. I took this photo at the Hakaniemi Market Hall in Helsinki, Finland in summer. There were plenty of such charming craft stores for tourists and local Finns alike. Taken with a Nikon D600 with AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens. Photo credit: John Tan.

In many places in the world that celebrate Valentine’s Day, boys buy flowers, chocolates and gifts for their girlfriends, wives, mistresses or lovers.

Sometimes the girl reciprocates.

In Japan, it is the girl who buys for the guys.

I know – because I received plenty on Valentine’s Day when I was in Japan.

The tradition in Japan is for girls to buy white chocolates (called giri-chocos – 義理チョコ) and give them to the guys.

This does not happen just between couples that are in a relationship.

In fact, the ladies buy boxes of these white chocolates and distribute them to the guys at the office – mostly to guys with which they DO NOT have a relationship with.

“今天是西方情人节,也恰是元宵 – 咱们华人情人节。希望大家都过得特别罗曼蒂克。这幅照片在芬兰,赫尔辛基拍摄,是一对对热拥的情侣盐椒瓶。觉得好热情,便把它们给拍下留念。今天的网志也写了些关于日本人怎么样庆祝情人节。敬请浏览。” – 科技点心(微薄)

So imagine my chagrin when I learnt that every other guy also received giri-chocos aplenty on that day.

But it was all in the spirit of good fun and certainly livened up the atmosphere at the workplace.

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