Chocolate: A global celebration of indulgence and tradition
Throughout the world, chocolate gifting serves different reasons and occasions, reflecting the diverse customs and flavours
Chocolate is a delectable treat that transcends borders. It has woven itself into the fabric of diverse cultures worldwide. Beyond its luscious taste, chocolate plays a significant role in traditions and festivals, making it a symbol of celebration and happiness in different nations.
Throughout the world, chocolate gifting serves different reasons and occasions, reflecting the diverse customs and flavours unique to each culture. From India's festive sweetness to Switzerland's chocolate wonderland and Mexico's ancient reverence, and Japan's unique expressions of affection, the universal love for chocolate unites cultures and brings joy to people's lives. In this article, we take you on a fascinating journey through the history of chocolate in four different countries.
In India, a land of vibrant festivities, chocolate finds its way into the traditional mithai offerings during Diwali, the festival of lights, symbolising prosperity and joy. Raksha Bandhan witnesses the exchange of chocolates as a modern addition to gifts, representing the sweetness of sibling love. Valentine's Day has also gained popularity in India, with chocolates being a favoured gift for expressing affection and admiration.
Switzerland, often dubbed the ‘Chocolate Capital of the World’, celebrates its love for this delicacy through chocolate festivals like the Salon du Chocolat in Zurich. The Swiss have been perfecting the art of chocolate-making for centuries, and their festivals showcase the rich diversity of Swiss chocolate-making techniques and flavours, attracting chocolate enthusiasts from around the globe.
Mexico, the birthplace of chocolate, honours its Mesoamerican roots by including chocolate in various festivities. During the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebrations, families share ‘chocolate caliente’ to honour deceased loved ones. Chocolate also holds a special place in Mexican Christmas traditions, with ‘chocolate conchas’ being a popular sweet treat during the holiday season.
Also read: Sweet recipes on World Chocolate Day
In Japan, Valentine's Day has a unique twist, with women giving chocolates to men, including friends, colleagues, and loved ones. ‘Giri-choco’ and ‘Honmei-choco’ chocolates serve different purposes in expressing feelings towards others. One month later, on White Day, men reciprocate the gesture by giving gifts, typically chocolates, to the women who gifted them on Valentine's Day.