What will 2021 mean for Valentine’s Day in Japan? Survey asks teens their chocolate plans

Homemade chocolate is great and all, but are people still making it in this coronavirus era?

Christmas and New Year’s are in the bag, which means Japan is getting ready for the next big holiday – Valentine’s Day. Shops have already ditched their festive decor as piles of sweet treats are taking the forefront. Whether it’s homemade chocolate or just something you bought at the store to make your boss happy, Valentine’s Day is a big day for chocolate in Japan.

And while it’s somewhat of a tradition for women to give chocolate to their loved ones and co-workers on February 14th, for Japanese girls in their teens, it’s becoming less of a day to give chocolate to someone you have a crush on, and more of a day to give chocolate to your friends. But how will that change this year, with coronavirus being the ‘new normal’? How are young people planning to spend Valentine’s Day 2021?

Memedays is an institute that researches social media trends from Generation Z (anyone born after 1995). They surveyed 545 Japanese girls aged between 15 and 19 and asked them, “What are your plans for Valentine’s Day 2021?”

To get a rough idea of life before corona really got big, participants were asked what they did for Valentine’s Day last year, with 78 percent responding that they gave away chocolates last year, either to friends or themselves. However, this year’s numbers are significantly lower, with only 37.1 percent of participants saying they are going to give chocolate to their friends, and 16.8 percent saying they are planning to give chocolate to themselves.

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