Monday, March 13, 2006

White Day

Ah, Japanese holidays. The "Public Holiday Law" (and amendments) of 1948 clarifies which calendar days are holidays. Some holidays gain the greater status of "National Holiday." You might get a chance of having the day off work on one of the "National Holidays."

Back to White Day. Wikipedia defines White Day like this, "On this Japanese twist on Valentine's Day, a man buys his special woman a treat. The national association of candy makers established this event, which formally began in 1980, although its roots date back a few years. It takes its name from the color of sugar. White Day is not a national holiday."

Your first thought might be, "Japanese twist on Valentine's Day? It sounds like normal Valentine's Day." And, indeed it is basically American Valentine's Day. The twist is with Japanese Valentine's Day on February 14th. On that day, Japanese women buy their special man (and their male co-workers) chocolate. I made the mistake of going to 'La Maison du Chocolat' on Valentine's Day. Not to get Dan chocolate (I already covered that earlier in the week), but to get his Dad and Kay some special drinking chocolate.

Side Note: Special Drinking Chocolate...mmmmm...
Kay's mom once gave us various sweets, cookies, and chocolates. Some of them had store names and addresses on them. Most of the stores were located in Ginza. So, my friend Von and I ended up going chocolate shopping in Ginza. One of the places that Von introduced me to was La Maison du Chocolat. It sells, not surprisingly, expensive French chocolates. The one in Ginza also has a small cafe bar area where you can purchase some of the expensive chocolate for consumption while you are there. Von and I ordered the drinking chocolate. IT IS THE BEST DRINKING CHOCOLATE EVER! For 900 yen you get 200 ml of exquisite drinking chocolate. (English conversion: $7.58 for 6.7 fl oz.) I would post a picture here, but when I washed and dried my camera phone, the picture got washed away too. Von and I considered purchasing the drinking chocolate mix at the time. It looks like Sixlets, tiny chocolate beads. However, the lady at the chocolate store explained to us how to prepare it. You have to heat the chocolate beads with milk to a specific temperature, cool the mixture, strain it, and then re-heat it. A little too complicated for us. However, after much discussion with Dan, we decided that this was something his Dad should try because his Dad is a bit of a chocolate connoisseur. Also, we decided that Kay should try it since every time she goes with us to coffee, she orders hot chocolate. Note: If Dad and/or Kay read this post, they should comment on how things turned out.

Your second thought about White Day may be, "The national association of candy makers established this event? Why can't Hallmark be forthright like this and explain how some of our American holidays came about?"

Your third thought about White Day may be, "Color of Sugar? I thought sugar was brown, then later refined to be white?" Let's check the
Virtual Kaua'i Latte
to find out...
Third picture down... Oh! Sugar is green.

And your final thought on White Day, "Not a National Holiday! How in the world does the typical Japanese man make it home from work in time to give his special woman a sugar-based treat?" Dan had this one covered. He got done with work yesterday and brought me flowers ahead of time. I get to enjoy them here at our apartment all day on White Day.

What else are we doing for White Day? Well, this morning we went to a midwife appointment. Our baby is currently about 3.9 kilograms. I still weigh under 100 kilograms (barely). My midwife still wants me to give birth before my due date. We are now implementing measures such as sage oil and raspberry leaf tea.

After the appointment, Dan and I went to lunch at Wendy's.

Tonight we are meeting up at Dan's work, then going to Shinjuku for crepes, shopping/walking, and dinner. To continue our efforts at pleasing the midwife, and delivering early, we will be eating spicy Indian curry.

An fun time will be had by all.

Will Riker be born on a holiday like both of his parents?
We shall see. Although it seems it will not be White Day. Ah well, there is always Spring Equinox next week, "The vernal equinox is a national holiday for the admiration of nature and the love of living things. Around this time, various Buddhist sects celebrate the spring higan. Many people visit the graves of their ancestors, washing the tombstone, tidying up the site, and offering flowers. The first celebration in Japan took place in 806."

Spring Equinox Day is a National Holiday.

No comments: