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White Day

March 14, 2018

White Day is a Japanese holiday that is celebrated on March 14, one month after Valentine’s Day. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is a day for women to give chocolate to male friends, family, coworkers and significant others. White Day is a day for men to return the favor, and give gifts back to all women who gave them chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

White Day is a relatively new holiday. It was created by the Japanese candy industry in the late 1970s in order to boost sales, and has since gained popularity across Asia. In 1978, White Day was first introduced as Marshmallow Day, but the holiday was relaunched as White Day in 1980, due to chocolate being more popular. The original slogan was “Ai ni Kotaeru White Day” or “Answer with Love on White Day”.

Like with Japanese Valentine’s Day, the type of gifts are different depending on the type of relationship the giver has with the recipient.  Small gifts of chocolate or other sweets are fine for coworkers or classmates, while more expensive gifts are expected for loved ones. The gifts should be white in color, which symbolizes purity. White chocolate is the most traditional White Day gift, but placing your gift in white gift wrap or a gift bag is also acceptable. 

White Day gifts, especially for significant others, are expected to cost up to 3 times the amount of the Valentine that was received. This aspect of the holiday was also a clever creation be the Japanese candy industry in order to boost sales even further, and was inspired by the saying, “Ebi de tai wo tsuru.”, or “Fishing for sea bream with shrimp.”