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.

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 be 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.

Extra Information

Founded in
March 1978
Founded by
National Confectionery Industry Association

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