In Japan, as well as other countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, 14 March will be celebrated as White Day. On it, men who received chocolate of love (honmei-choko) or courtesy chocolate (giri-choko) on Valentine’s Day will be expected to return the favor by giving gifts to the women. Popular White Day gifts are white chocolates, white cookies, marshmallow, white flowers, white jewelry, even white clothing such as lingerie. A man could also take the woman to a date.
According to the term sanbai gaeshi or triple the return, it is expected that the return gift should be two or three times the worth of the Valentine’s gift received. Returning the gift of equal value is considered as a way to say that the man is ending the relationship. And not returning the gift will be perceived as the man is placing himself in a position of superiority.
White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an answer day to Valentine’s Day. The color white was chosen because it is a color of purity, symbolizing “pure, sweet, teen love”.
So if you are a man who is now living on a country that celebrate White Day, and you have received a chocolate on Valentine’s Day, be sure to return the favor on White Day! And if the woman who gave you the Valentine’s Day gift is the one with whom you want to be romantically involved, White Day is the perfect time to let her know that you love her!
How about you? Tell us your favorite White Day activity, or share your most memorable White Day celebration!