|Place of origin||Japan|
Giri choco (義理チョコ, lit. "obligation chocolate") is chocolate given by women to men on Valentine's Day in Japan as a customary gift. Unlike honmei choco , which is given to romantic partners, giri choco is a type of chocolate that women give to male co-workers, bosses, and acquaintances out of appreciation and politeness. Men generally reciprocate by giving women gifts on White Day, which is celebrated on March 14.
On Valentine's Day in Japan, giri choco is inexpensive chocolate that women give to male co-workers and friends to show appreciation and respect as opposed to honmei choco , chocolate that is given to romantic partners.While Japan has a strong gift-giving culture, the origins of giving chocolate on Valentine's Day is unclear. One popular explanation is that the trend was started by junior high school girls, who would give handmade chocolate to boys to see if they returned their affections, and it later became commercialized in the mid-1950s, with the first Valentine's sale taking place in 1958 at Mary Chocolate.
Harumichi Yamada from Tokyo Keizai University stated that the practice of giving chocolate occurred because women expressing their love to men was considered disgraceful, and confectioneries capitalized on chocolate as a way for them to profess their love; however, as the social status of women improved, Valentine's Day was later considered a day where women give chocolate to men, through which the giri choco custom emerged.Sachiko Horiguchi from Temple University, Japan Campus suggested that the giri choco custom first occurred in the 1980s where working women were obligated to give chocolate to their co-workers and bosses, as both of the Japanese corporate and gift-giving cultures made it appropriate for this exchange to take place.
Japanese chocolate confectioneries make 70% of their business through Valentine's Day annually. US$400,000,000(equivalent to $523,632,646 in 2019) was spent on Valentine's Day chocolates. The average woman spent US$36(equivalent to $44.39 in 2019) on giri choco in 2007, while it dropped to ¥1,033 in 2019.The Chocolate & Cocoa Association of Japan reported that, in 2005, approximately
In the 1980s, White Day began as a tradition where men would reciprocate giri choco gifts in order to boost sales.White Day gift sales are heavily influenced by sales from Valentine's Day.
The tradition of giving giri choco is losing popularity in Japan beginning in the late 2010s and is criticized for pressuring women to buy chocolate for their co-workers to avoid offending them. friendship chocolate (友チョコ, tomo choco) to their friends. A 2017 survey from 3M showed that only 40% of the women surveyed planned to give chocolate to their male co-workers, compared to 80% in a 2007 survey conducted by a different company. In 2018, Godiva Chocolatier also criticized the practice of giving giri choco with a full-page advertisement, calling for workplaces to ban it entirely, though some critics have accused them of stealth marketing.Some companies have banned the practice, citing it as power harassment. Instead, women opt to give
Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
White Day is on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day, when people give reciprocal gifts to those who gave them gifts received on Valentine's Day. It began in Japan in 1978; since then, its observance has spread to several other Asian nations.
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