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  • Writer's pictureJason Khoh

Giving Gifts on White Day: A Look at Japan's Unique Valentine's Day Tradition

In Japan, Valentine's Day is not just a day for couples to celebrate their love, but it's also an opportunity for women to show their appreciation to men with gifts of chocolates. However, the giving doesn't stop there. On March 14, men who received chocolates on Valentine's Day are expected to return the favor with a gift of their own on what's known as White Day.

White Day is a unique tradition that originated in Japan in the 1970s as a way for chocolate manufacturers to increase sales. It quickly caught on and has become an important part of the Valentine's Day season in Japan. But what exactly is White Day, and how is it celebrated? Let's take a closer look.

What is White Day?

White Day is a holiday that takes place on March 14, exactly one month after Valentine's Day. On this day, men are expected to return the favor to the women who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day by giving them a gift of their own. The gift should be more than just a simple thank-you card, but rather something of equal or greater value than the chocolates received.

The most common gifts given on White Day are chocolates, but there are also other popular gift options such as flowers, jewelry, and clothing. In recent years, non-food gifts have become increasingly popular, as more men are opting to give something that will last longer than a box of chocolates.

White Day is not just a day for couples, but also for friends and colleagues. It's common for coworkers to exchange small gifts on White Day, as a way to show appreciation and strengthen professional relationships.

How is White Day Celebrated?

White Day is celebrated in a variety of ways, depending on the individual and their relationship with the gift recipient. For couples, White Day is often celebrated with a romantic dinner or a special date. It's a chance for men to show their love and appreciation for their partners, and to make them feel special.

For friends and coworkers, White Day is often celebrated with a small gift exchange or a group outing. It's a chance to strengthen relationships and show appreciation for those who have made a positive impact in their lives.


According to a survey by the Japan Anniversary Association, the average amount spent on White Day gifts in Japan is around 4,000 yen (approx. 50 AUD). The survey also found that the most popular gift for women on White Day is chocolate, followed by flowers and jewelry.

In recent years, there has been a shift away from traditional gift-giving, with more men opting to give non-food gifts such as clothing, accessories, and beauty products. This reflects a growing trend towards practical gift-giving, as people look for gifts


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