Here’s Everything You Need to Know about Japan’s White Day Celebration

Avoid committing a social faux pas with these tips!


White Day
is an event that’s widely celebrated in most Eastern Asian countries like Japan. It is normally held every March 14, exactly a month after Valentine’s Day.


Over the years, the event has greatly evolved and changed into what appears to be a chocolate-giving competition. While teenagers are mostly the ones celebrating this special day, adults are also involved in this tradition of giving, albeit out of obligation.


Since White Day
is just around the corner, here are a few tips and reminders of what to do and not to do during the celebration.


Remember to give back.


Following the
Japanese Valentine tradition, White Day is the time when men give something in return to women. Traditionally, guys who received chocolates during Valentine’s Day offer the ladies white chocolate, marshmallows, snacks, or basically anything that’s colored white. Sometimes, men opt to give handkerchiefs, jewelry, or even lingerie.


Keep in mind the Sanbaigaeshi tradition.


The number "3" in Japan has a special meaning during White Day. There is an unwritten rule that you have to do
Sanbaigaeshi, which means that you have to give back three times the amount that you received. For those who received something expensive on Valentine’s Day, following the tradition means having to give back three times the amount spent on that gift.


On the other hand, if you received the cheaper
giri chocolate, you’re still obliged to give something in return three-fold. If you got honmei chocolates during Valentine’s Day, you can give back in the form of a gift, a date, or a big gesture of love.


Make sure to offer a reply.


Middle and high school girls usually confess their feelings on Valentine’s Day. Whenever this happens, guys give their replies exactly a month after, during White Day.


Waiting until this special day gives men an ample amount of time to think about how they’re going to reply. However, waiting a month just to say yes or no can also be difficult for them, especially if they already know how they feel.


Don’t go to popular date spots.


If you want to spend quality time with your date, going to theme parks, illumination events, or popular date spots is highly discouraged. These places will most likely be crowded with other couples, making them dramatically unromantic venues.


Instead, we recommend that you go to a more intimate place where you can spend some quiet time alone with your loved one without being surrounded by the crowd. However, if you really want to visit these popular date spots, we suggest that you go there a day or two before or after White Day.

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Do not confess your feelings on White Day.


During White Day, guys are not supposed to profess their love for someone. Confessions, in fact, are a big no-no, since it is a day of requiting feelings.


If you do confess, you might have to expect an answer by Valentine’s Day of the following year (Yikes!). Despite White Day being a special day that revolves around love, you are not allowed to tell someone that you like them unless it’s a reply.


Never reply in a careless manner.


Following the
Sanbaigaeshi rule, you are expected to return three times the value of what was offered to you. If you give something less or reply half-assed, you’ll be kissing your budding romance goodbye. In any case, since you’ve been given a full month to think about your feelings, you might as well go big. 


Main photo courtesy of iStock


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