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 el 13 Feb 2009 por Ayumi Nakai

White Day

On March 14, Japanese men buy sweets for women to pay them back for their Valentine’s gifts.

Rabbit and bear shaped White Day cakes at the Anniversary shop
Rabbit and bear shaped White Day cakes at the Anniversary shop
Rabbit and bear shaped White Day cakes at the Anniversary shop White Day gifts More White Day gifts White Day wine advertisement Konpeitou, traditional Japanese candy
What is White Day?
In Japan, there’s a strange custom celebrated on the 14th of March. It’s called White Day and it’s a special day for women. You know how in Japan, on Valentine’s Day, women give men chocolate? Well, White Day is the day men return the chocolate gifts women give them for Valentine’s Day.

Celebration or obligation?
The fact is, this custom is less popular than Valentine’s Day. For many people, White Day is synonymous of an obligation. Many women, though not all of them, give men gifts on Valentine’s Day in the hopes that they’ll in turn get gifts on White Day. One women’s magazine revealed what many women believe: "men should buy a gift 3 times more expensive than what they received on Valentine’s Day."

Current trends
Lately, many men have given up on White Day. They’re sick of all these obligations. A lot of women, annoyed by this decision, have also decided to give up celebrating Valentine’s Day. However, el White Day is still celebrated, especially at shopping centers and in stores where campaigns are carried out to sell this day’s typical gifts: candy, marshmallows and white chocolate. Other more romantic gifts include accessories, watches or dinners. One region in Japan is promoting champagne as a standard White Day gift.

A survey reveals what gifts should NOT be given on this day: underwear, stuffed animals, pets, scarves, etc. Unless it’s for your spouse, it seems edible gifts are most appreciated.

How did this custom begin?
Sweets manufacturers invented this custom in the 1970’s as a way to increase sales. Some young men had already begun returning women’s gifts, and businesses took advantage of the trend.

In 1980, the National Confectionary Industry Association established White Day, launching a huge campaign all over Japan. The name White Day is derived from the white color of the sugar used to manufacture candy, although it’s also said to be the color of marshmallows, a typical gift on that day. White Day is spreading to South Korea and Taiwan.

Link: White Day Wikipedia
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Noticias relacionadas
Interesting Facts About Valentine’s Day (20 Jan 2009)
Saint Valentine's Gifts for Her (21 Jan 2009)
Saint Valentine's Gifts for Him (22 Jan 2009)
Saint Valentine's Gifts for Singles (23 Jan 2009)
Valentine's Day in Japan (30 Jan 2009)
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