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Monthly Feature Story-March 2020-Japan's White Day

Cultural Tips - Japan's White Day

Japan is the birthplace of "White Day", March 14th, exactly a month after Valentine's Day. White Day in Japan is like a second Valentine's Day, and popularly known as the day men return the favor for chocolates they received on Valentine's Day.

The idea of White Day began in 1980. The color white is regarded as a symbol of purity and innocence.

On White Day, men are supposed to return the favor regardless of whether or not the chocolate was given out of obligation or love. This is based on the long-standing and traditional Japanese custom of giving and receiving gifts.

While gifts on Valentine's Day are mainly chocolates, gifts on White Day can also include cookies, candy, sweets, and even jewelry for women who gave 'honmei' (heartfelt) chocolate. Some people say men should give gifts three times the value of the gift received because of the imbalance of wages between genders in Japan.

Again, shops and department stores have many reminders with gift displays well in advance of White Day, so men cannot make any excuses for forgetting about this special day. These stores get packed with a wide variety of chocolates. Why not take a look at those White Day sections and experience White Day Japanese style.





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