日本特有のホワイトデー風習 Japan's White Day Custom

How about a white dress for White Day? :)


In Japan, there is a strong tradition of women giving chocolates to men on Valentines Day. There are two types of chocolates, “Giri-choco” (義理チョコ;obligation chocolate), and “Honmei-choco” (本命チョコ;favor chocolates). Giri-choco is meant to be for friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends. “Giri” means obligation hence this Giri-choco has no romance involved. On the other hand, Honmei-choco is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love. There is also a custom for Japanese women to prepare the Honmei-choco by themselves (the belief is that it does not represent true love if they simply purchase them ready-made). Nearing Valentines day, all the department stores, shops, and even grovery stores will start putting out large displays of chocolate (often heart shaped). Stores also get packed with a large variety of chocolate-making cooking tools and of course, women!

For more on Valentines Day in Japan, please take a look at "St. Valentine's Day 2018" (Bilingual English-Japanese) and "Japanese Style Valentine's Day" (Japanese Only) 

White Day (ホワイトデー) is a day marked in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day. However, Japan probably takes the custom for this day to a different level. On White Day, men return gifts to women who gifted them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Believe it or not, White Day has been celebrated in Japan since 1978: it was started by the confectionery company back then, promoting men to buy their marshmallows as the return gift for Valentine’s Day. Now, flowers, candies and many other varied gifts are popular along with chocolates and marshmallows. Often, the color of the gift is white because of the name of the day (unsurprisingly). Again, department stores have *many* advanced reminders with gift displays so men will have no excuse to forget about this special day for the ladies. The term sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し, 'triple the return') is used to describe the generally recited rule for men that the return gift should be two to three times the worth of the Valentine's gift from the lady.

As part of the experience of working in Tokyo, every Valentines Day I have to buy about 30 boxes of chocolate to give out to colleagues at the office. Every White Day, all the ladies at my workplace receive a large amount of White Day 「お返しチョコ」(okaeshi-choco or Return Chocolates). Check out all of my gifts! ^^ Not only did I receive a bagful of delicious goodies, but also Dior cotton puffs and hand cream and other girly products~! 

japan white day

Photo of my 2017 White Day 「お返しチョコ」(okaeshi-choco or Return Chocolates) 


3月14日はホワイトデーで「バレンタインデーに貰ったプレゼントのお返しを贈る日」です。バレンタインデーと同じくこうした男性が女性にプレゼントを渡すイベントを楽しみにしている人も多いでしょう。でも、ホワイトデーに何を渡すかによって、相手に伝えたい気持ちの意味が変わると思います。ホワイトデーは日本で生まれた日本特有のイベントなので、外国人はあまり知られていないかもしれません。初めて聞く時、「ホワイトデーはなんで「ホワイト」なの? 誰が3月14日って決めたの? いつどんな風に始まった風習なの?」と考えていて、とても興味があったので、調査しました。

(ちなみに、バレンタインデーについても書きました!興味があったら、 「日本式のバレンタインデー Japanese Style Valentine's Day」「St. Valentine’s Day 2018 」のブログをクリックしてご覧ください~







弊社ではやっぱり男性が多いので、女性の同僚は皆なギフトをいっぱいもらいました。色々なお菓子を頂きましたから、楽しくて美味しそうです!色々な見たことがない新しい日本式の食べ物をもらったので、全部食べてみたいです!他に嬉しい点は、お菓子のみじゃなくて、女性が好きで綺麗なプレセントももらいました。例えば、いい香りのハンドクリームや美味しいお茶やDiorのfacial cottonももらって、幸せでした!


Aside from chocolates, some of the 'Return Gifts' received on White Day 2018 include hand cream, rusk, coloring pencils, pickles, and ginger tea! In my opinion, Valentines and White Day customs in Japan can be quite fun as they allow you to try a wide variety of different Japanese snacks~ 


ホワイトデーですから、純白のドレスを着ているわ ^^/