Saturday, March 1, 2014

Japanese Culture: White Day

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Who says that February was the only month that celebrates something romantic on its fourteenth day?

Well, maybe here on the Philippines it’s only in February, but in other countries particularly Japan, they have this thing called White Day which apparently falls on the fourteenth day of March, just a month after the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Probably a lot of us got something from a special someone last February fourteenth, if not from a lover or from an admirer, we still have some of our friends who troubled their way just to give us handmade cards and sweet treats. If you’re single, they have this tradition in South Korea where single people eat Black Bean Noodles during the fourteenth of April, probably just to celebrate freedom and being capable to live without having a significant half, but more likely about loathing for not having a lover yet, but that’s another the topic for another day.

Moving on, In the Philippines, it’s mostly men who give presents and show-offs to the ladies they like. It’s even a stereotype. It’s kind of viewed as weird and untypical for a girl to give presents for a guy they’re crushing on, as if the girl was too desperate, going through such lengths just to show his affections to someone she likes unless they’re married, but women are not viewed that way in Japan.  It’s the other way around for them in Valentine’s Day and they give both genders a chance to show their love on separate days, Valentine’s Day for girls on February 14 and White Day for guys which lands on March 14.

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is observed by girls and ladies giving out gifts to the ones they laid their eyes upon with chocolate gifts of any variations commonly homemade or store-bought to the men they like, expressing love, thankfulness and courteousness. Handmade chocolates are preferred by men because it shows the effort, sincerity and love of the lady who confessed. Though in White Day, the roles totally reverses. This time, men are obligated to return the favor by giving out gifts to the women who they were indebted to last Valentine’s Day. Commonly the gifts are cookies, jewelry, candy, and white chocolate. The rule ‘sanbai gaeshi’ or ‘thrice the return’ is sometimes applied which means men should gift the woman something that is up to three times the worth of the chocolate she gave.

A little history about White Day, it is a relatively new trend created by the confectionery industry in Japan. White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. The National Confectionery Industry Association established White Day as an "answer day" or "reply day" to Valentine's Day. The color white was chosen because it's the color of purity, evoking "pure, sweet teen love", and because it's also the color of sugar. The initial name was "Ai ni Kotaeru White Day" (Answer Love on White Day).  And if that isn't romantic enough then I don’t know what is.

In the end, you don’t really have to wait for these particular dates just to show your affection to your significant other. Piece of advice: It’s even better to surprise them during days that don’t really seem to be that important or when they’re feeling down and just wanting someone to cheer them up and give them the extra boost they need to continue with life. Anything goes.  Just trust your heart and it will surely take you places.

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  1. Nice article. I don't really like chocolates but when it came from a special friend or person (in the future) I would surely eat happily. Anyways, White day really caught my interest since I usually see this in every shojou manga that I've read.

  2. Great article! I happily read this since I like to find out unique occasions about other countries and how they celebrate it, and just look at the chocolates!

  3. Great article!! Japanese people are so sweet. <3

  4. Sweet! Nice article! Keep it up! :)


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