White Day

White Day is a holiday observed a month after Valentine’s Day and is considered its companion. It is a day for people to give gifts of chocolate to those they love, respect, and/or admire. It is observed annually on March 14th, making it the perfect day to return the favor to those who may have given you a Valentine’s Day gift.

Although this holiday originally began in Asia, it has since traveled across the globe and is celebrated by anyone who wants to do something special for someone else. Now, let’s take a deeper look into this holiday to learn about its history and traditions.

The History of White Day

This holiday began in 1978 in Japan as a day for men to give gifts in return for the gifts they received on Valentine’s Day. Unsurprisingly, it was created by the Japanese National Confectionery Industry Association as a way to sell even more candy.

After all, the main tradition behind White Day was for women to give gifts of candy to the ones they love. However, this holiday began to morph a bit once it left Japan’s borders.

It became a holiday not only for women to give thank-you gifts to the men who gave them gifts the month before but also as a day for anyone to give anyone else a gift. Over the past few years, the popularity of this holiday has been on the decline, particularly in Japan.

This is evidenced by falling sales figures during this time period. Although experts cite various reasons for this decline in popularity, many attribute it to one of two factors. One, there’s been a reduction in chocolate sales from February, which has prompted some men to skip obligation chocolates. And two, there is currently a change in gender roles in Japanese culture.

Some Quick Facts About the Color White

We’ve seen quite a few White Day celebrations, and as the name of this holiday attests, it’s a holiday that contains a lot of white food and accessories. White chocolate, white roses, and gifts that are adorned in white (and sometimes red and gold).

Since there’s so much white being used for this holiday, we thought it might be appropriate to talk about this color. What is there to talk about? You’d be surprised. There is a lot about the color white that you probably don’t know, but rest assured, we’re giving everyone an education today.

  • The color white, like the color black, has no hue. That can’t be said of the other colors of the rainbow.
  • In Western cultures, white often symbolizes purity, cleanliness, or divinity.
  • In India, it’s customary for widows to wear white.
  • The color white is also a sign of mourning in other Eastern cultures as well.
  • Most people prefer the color white for walls and ceilings, which is why it’s one of the more popular paint choices.
  • Televisions produce white by mixing red, blue, and green light.
  • Roman men wore white togas known as toga virilis. This was a symbol that they could form their own households, marry, and vote.
  • There are six words in Japanese for the color white and seven words for white in the Inuit language.

Observing White Day

In Japan, this holiday is a day for men who received “chocolate of love” (Honmei-choco) or “courtesy chocolate” (Giri-choco) on Valentine’s Day to return the favor by buying gifts for girls. It’s also a day that includes a variety of white foods such as white chocolate, candy, cookies, Hirata buns, marshmallows, or other “white foods.”

It’s also a day when people exchange white bags, lingerie, and other gifts. Japanese men sometimes follow the rule “triple the return” (Sanbai gaeshi) to buy a return gift for their wives or girlfriends that’s worth three times the value of what they received on Valentine’s Day. Although this rule isn’t necessarily followed by everyone, it is followed by many men.

We can think of several different ways for people to observe this holiday outside of Japan. Giving someone a gift who gave you one the previous month is a good way to celebrate this holiday. As is giving someone you secretly admire or have a crush on a gift.

It’s also just a good day for couples to get out and do something together. In other words, there’s no right or wrong way to observe this holiday. No matter how a person observes this day, they should take the time to spread the news about it online using the hashtag #WhiteDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 14 Thursday
Next year (2025)
March 14 Friday
Last year (2023)
March 14 Tuesday
Relationships & Family