White Day (March 14) is a Japanese Holiday
. On that day, men
declare their love
by giving them gifts. A purely Japanese invention
, White Day was created as a counterpart to Valentine's Day
. The popular custom
in Japan is for women to declare their love to men on Valentine's Day by giving them gifts (usually chocolate
). White Day was created to allow men to reciprocate
In 1965, a confectionary manufacturer launched a marketing campaign in which they encouraged men to repay their Valentine's Day gift by giving white marshmallows. The campaign was successful, and soon other candy makers joined in, marketing white chocolates and other sweets. Eventually, the original association with marshmallows disappeared, and the holiday came to be known as White Day.
The chocolate gifts on Valentine's Day are given by women to either declare their love for a man or to show appreciation for her peers. They are designated in one of two categories by the giver. One type is given by obligation - to classmates, co-wokers, and relatives - and is called 'giri-choco' (義理チョコ) The other type is given to the giver's true love ('honmei'). Those are called 'honmei-choco' (本命チョコ) and is sometimes homemade.
The gifts on White Day are expected to be the man's reply to a 'honmei-choco' and have various meanings as well. However, there is no consistent convention. One convention is:
- Handkerchief - If a man gives a woman a handkerchief for White Day, he is telling her that he doesn't love her. The handkerchief is meant to be used by the woman to wipe her tears.
- Cookies - The man just wants to be friends with the woman.
- Marshmallows - The man likes the woman, and would like to date her.
- Candy - The man is already involved in a relationship with another woman.
Gifts may also be given by the man to a woman from whom he did not receive a 'honmei-choco.'
In addition to the gift giving, couples also celebrate their love on White Day by going to the movies, shopping, or dining at expensive restaurants.