Valentine’s Day For Expat Wives Abroad

Hi Joint Ventures!

It’s a Valentine’s Day today.

I’d like to share in this post what I learned about Valentine’s Day in the US and some other countries at a recent Meetup event for all the expat wives and beyond!


What is Valentine’s Day?

People celebrate Valentine’s Day across the globe but may not be familiar with what it’s like in other countries.

Definition of the day is…

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[1] is a secular and religious holiday celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.



While it stems from Christianity, the day is seen as a “romantic” day when people give chocolates or roses to someone they love in Japan, US and many other countries.


Valentine’s Day in Japan and the US

You might be surprised to know that women are supposed to give chocolates or presents to men in my home country Japan, which is quite the opposite to what happens in many other countries including the US.

We in Japan also have a day called “White Day” on March 14th, just one month after Valentine’s Day.

That is a day for men to give back something, typically cookies or chocolates, in return to women.

I’ve now learned Japan is unique and peculiar compared to other countries when it comes to Valentine’s Day (or some other aspects).


Valentine’s Week?

What surprised me about Valentine’s Day culture here in the US is that they have Valentine’s WEEK, not just a day!

According to this website, there are…

  • Rose Day: Thursday, February 7th, 2019

  • Propose Day: Friday, February 8th, 2019

  • Chocolate Day: Saturday, February 9th, 2019

  • Teddy Day: Sunday, February 10th, 2019

  • Promise Day: Monday, February 11th, 2019

  • Hug Day: Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

  • Kiss Day: Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

  • Valentine’s Day: Thursday, February 14th, 2019


They got so many romantic days and it feels fun!


What is Galentine’s day?

Another recent trend in the US is what they call ”Galentine’s day“.

It is a mix of “Girl” and “Valentine’s Day” and means a day for girls to celebrate by themselves (without men) typically on February 13th, a day before Valentine’s Day.

It’s catching up in Japan too and I can tell many girls across the border would love that!


A day for Joint Ventures

For me, Valentine’s Day is one of the good examples of cultural differences between Japan and other countries.

I’m sure there are many other different ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day in each country and culture that I’m totally unaware of.

I hope all the expat couples outside of their home countries will enjoy the day in a “local” way and embrace any cultural difference they find.

Having lived in the US and Canada, what I love about their culture is you can see elderly couples are dating everywhere holding hands not just around Valentine’s Day.

Life of expat couples can be sometimes tough, and what you need is a strong bond with your partner as Joint Ventures.

Happy Valentine’s Day and wish everyone will reconfirm their love and tie with their partners!


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