Today is March 14 and in some Asian countries like Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan White Day is being celebrated. So what exactly is White Day?
White Day is celebrated one month after Valentine’s Day and let me quote Wikipedia in regards to the history of this event.
White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day. In 1977, a Fukuoka-based confectionery company, Ishimuramanseido, marketed marshmallows to men on March 14, calling it Marshmallow Day (マシュマロデー Mashumaro Dē?).
Soon thereafter, confectionery companies began marketing white chocolate. Now, men give both white and dark chocolate, as well as other edible and non-edible gifts, such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value, or white clothing like lingerie, to women from whom they received chocolate on Valentine’s Day one month earlier. If the chocolate given to him was Giri choco, the man likewise may not be expressing actual romantic interest, but rather a social obligation.
And how is White Day being celebrated in Japan and Korea? They are the two countries that I can think of that really celebrate the event.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is observed by females who present chocolate gifts (either store-bought or handmade), usually to a male, as an expression of love, courtesy or social obligation. A handmade chocolate is usually preferred by the receiver, because it is a sign that the receiving male is the girl’s “only one”. On White Day, the converse happens: males who received a honmei-choco (本命チョコ?, “chocolate of love”) or giri-choco (義理チョコ?, “courtesy chocolate”) on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows. Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し?, literally, “triple the return”) is used to describe the generally recited rule that the return gift should be two to three times the cost of the Valentine’s gift.
Korea (I’m honestly more familiar with their customs for White Day)
White Day is also observed in South Korea with the men paying back women who have given them chocolate on Valentine’s Day with usually candy instead of chocolate, with an additional later Black Day observed for those sharing singleness.
In my case nothing really special happened last Valentine’s Day so I think I’ll be celebrating Black Day instead 🙂 Happy White Day everyone!
White Day pic