Japan, as one might expect, has its own set of traditions revolving around holidays. Valentine's Day, for instance, has been imported from the West, but the rituals around it have grown very specific. Only girls give gifts on Valentine's Day, and that gift is almost never anything but chocolate. They give simple store-bought 'obligation' chocolates to any boy they'd consider a friend, and those aren't considered to mean much at all. But for that special someone, they're supposed to go to more effort -- buying fancy, expensive chocolates, or for the ultimate touch, making something at home from scratch.
Boys are expected to return the favor exactly one month later. March 14 is a holiday known as 'White Day,' when boys give white chocolate to any girl who gave them chocolate on Valentine's, and maybe fully begin a relationship with one. (You will be unsurprised to learn that White Day was invented entirely by the Japanese candy industry.)
Nowadays, though, there's a growing awareness of people who don't fit the mold -- especially in anime and manga. What do non-straight couples do on Valentine's Day? Some authors have answered that question, sometimes even drawing on their own personal experience...( 7 pages out of 21 )