White Day

One of my pen pals recently mentioned ― in English ― that “White Day is coming soon.” After spending a few minutes scratching my head, I received this explanation when I questioned what I thought was a bad English translation: バレンタインデーで貰った人にお返しをする日 (barentain dee de moratta hito ni okaeshi o suru hi) ― which translates to “the day in which people that received something on Valentine’s Day return the favor.”

Never heard of such a thing. So I looked it up and sure enough in Japanese it’s written as ホワイトデー, which is the phonetic written interpretation of the English term “white day.”

According to an article at the Wikipedia ― and keep in mind that in Japan it’s common for girls to give chocolates to guys, not the other way around like in the US ― on March 14th of every year guys are expected to return a present twice as expensive as the one received to each girl. It’s believed that White Day was introduced in Japan by a marshmallow manufacturing company in the 50s. The white marshmallows gave the day its name but other presents have become popular over the years.

As you can imagine, White Day isn’t very popular with men: it’s expensive!

I suppose one good thing about being single is not having to participate in White Day (probably the only good thing).