In those countries where Valentine’s Day is observed by women giving gifts of chocolate to those they love, White Day is the day they get the return on that investment.

Throughout the world, Valentine’s Day is practiced in largely similar ways, with the giving of gifts of chocolate to those whose respect, admiration, or love we desire. In some countries, it is tradition that only women give gifts on this day, in part due to the existence of White Day. White Day is when women are the recipients, with the expectation being that the gift bestowed upon the woman is thrice the value of that she gave to the man.

Learn about White Day

White Day is celebrated a month after Valentine’s Day. The date is for people to reciprocate the gifts that they received on Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, White Day is for women to receive gifts. However, you don’t have to be female to reciprocate the love that someone showed you on the 14th of February. It is also a perfect back-up for anyone who received a gift on Valentine’s Day that they weren’t expecting and so did not purchase anything for the other person. You can simply claim that you were saving it for White Day – problem solved! 

As we will reveal in further detail, we have Japan to thank for this day. However, it is a day that is celebrated in a number of other countries as well. For example, in Korea, this day is honored, with boyfriends giving their partner a White Day gift. Traditionally, this gift was marshmallows. Random, but who doesn’t love some marshmallows? Today, though, Korean boyfriends have gotten more adventurous with their gifts, with everything from beautiful bouquets of flowers to delicious fragrances being gifted to the women in their lives. 

History of White Day

In 1978 the Japanese National Confection Industry Association helped to promote the idea of an “answer day” for Valentine’s Day. In Japan, it was tradition that only women would give gifts of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, and so they decided that there needed to be a day where men showed their appreciation by returning it. This appreciation is shown by the gifting of flowers, white chocolate, lingerie, jewelry, and other gifts to those women who they received gifts from a month earlier.

Unlike the American manifestation of Valentine’s Day, gifts of chocolate are often given as ‘giri chocho’, or a gift that is a social obligation rather than an expression of romantic love. While this still leaves the man obligated to give a gift in return, the nature of the gift is clearly determined by this nicety. If you’ve ever wondered how Valentine’s Day and the related holidays are celebrated in other countries, White Day is your opportunity to find out!

How to celebrate White Day

Well, the foundation of celebrating White Day may not be present in your country, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate it regardless. If you’ve received a gift from someone on Valentine’s Day then you can return that favor on White Day by presenting them with a gift of your affection or respect. You can also research the details of this tradition to help familiarize yourself with it and raise awareness of it in your own community. It’s important to realize that this isn’t just a Japanese tradition, but is also a thing practiced in South Korea, Vietnam, and China. Take White Day to study the nuances of this holiday and tell people all about it so that everyone can learn more about other cultures.

White Day can also be used as an opportunity to confess your love to someone. If you have had a crush on someone for quite some time now and you have not been able to build up the nerve to tell them, you can use White Day to do exactly that. Purchase that special someone a small gift and confess your feelings. What have you got to lose? It’s always better to take the risk, even if it does not work out how you want it to! After all, if you don’t take the risk, how will you ever know?

You can also spend this date learning a bit more about Japanese culture and tradition. Why not learn some romantic phrases in Japanese so that you can impress your partner on this day? The only place to start is by learning how to say I love you. This is Aishiteru or 愛してる。, and it is only suitable when saying you love someone in a romantic way. It is not a phrase that people use when saying they love a friend or a family member, and that is why it is the perfect phrase to learn for White Day. There are some other great phrases that you can say as well. This includes:

I want to kiss you./Let’s kiss.

Kiss Shitai/Kiss Shiyou. キスしたい/キスしよう

I feel safe when I’m with you.

Issho ni Iru to Hotto suru/Anshin Suru. 一緒にいるとほっとする/安心する

Let’s go on a date!/Let’s hang out!

De-to ni Ikou!/Asobi ni Ikou! デートに行こう!/遊びに行こう!

No matter how you decide to spend White Day, make sure that it is a day that is filled with love! If you don’t have that special someone in your life right now, curl up on the sofa, treat yourself to a good meal, and watch a rom-com! Or, why not buy a gift for yourself? We all deserve a treat from time-to-time!

Key Info

Dates
Hashtag
Founded in
March 1978
Founded by
National Confectionery Industry Association

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