Happy Valentines Day in Japanese


TO say Happy Valentines Day in Japanese you can say yukai barentain dei.

Yukai translates into “happy.” And barentain dei is basically Valentine’s Day in a Japanese accent.

The Western holiday Valentine’s Day is only observed in Asia because of clever marketing, which is why it doesn’t have a Japanese word of its own. In the 1960’s a Japanese confectioner created the Valentine’s Day custom that goes on today of Japanese women gifting chocolate to men. For some reason, this scheme was a success and chocolate sales soared!

But the typical Japanese politeness spawned a reciprocal custom – eventually. More than fifteen years later, White Day was created, wherein men “reply” to the women’s chocolate gifts one month after Valentine’s Day on March 14 with gifts of candy and cookies, although these day Japanese women are desiring pricier presents such as jewelry and handbags.

Women shower their sweethearts – honmei – with chocolate, but they also give colleagues and friends chocolate gifts too. These are called giri-choco or “obligation chocolate.” For less liked male coworkers, they give chō-giri choko – or “cheap obligation chocolate.” Ouch!

So now you know how to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Japanese.