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White Day: January 1996

Author: Tim Boyle, Issue: January 1996, Topic: Events, Japanese Culture

In America and many other parts of the world, February 14 is a holiday for lovers. It is a day to give cards, candies or flowers to "Your Valentine." They have this tradition in Japan too, but with a twist. February 14 is still Valentine's Day, but generally, only the women give gifts on this day. Then on March 14 comes "White Day."

White Day is the day for men to return the gifts to those who gave them gifts the previous month. The reason it is called "White Day" is that the "traditional" gift (one may wish to debate whether such a recent invention should be called "traditional") is white chocolate or marshmallow candies.

White Day is an invention of Japanese candy companies designed to increase sales. This is similar to what Hallmark did in the U.S. with "Secretaries' Day" and "Grandparent's Day". This also seems to have been thought out as maybe more than just a ploy to sell more candy. It gives the men a chance to see who gives them what, and allows them a chance to go out and find something to return. This seems a little unfair to the women, but at least the men can no longer say "I forgot," or "I didn't know you were going to get me anything."

<< Letter to the Editor: January 1996 | Master Index | Ibaraki Nature Museum >>

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