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Celebrating White Day

Celebrating ‘White Day’ in Japan & Korea: Everything You Need to Know

Couples all around the world will be familiar with the gift-giving conventions associated with Valentine’s Day in February. It has long been an opportunity for couples to show their love for one another with romantic gestures, small gifts, and special dates. But in Japan & Korea, Valentine’s Day is only one of two important romantic celebrations on the calendar. The second, celebrating White Day, is equally as important. But what is it? And how do you ensure you celebrate it properly with your Japanese or Korean girlfriend? Let’s take a look now.

It started in 1978

Compared to the centuries-old Valentine’s Day, White Day is a relatively new celebration. In 1978, a small confectionery shop called Ishimura Manseido in the Hakata region of Japan was inspired to launch ‘Marshmallow Day’ on March 14th, precisely one month after Valentine’s Day. The store’s management wanted to create a day on which men could show their affection towards women. The following year, the day was promoted by a local department store and renamed as ‘White Day.’

By the 1980s, White Day had spread to provinces throughout Japan, and it was even celebrated in South Korea and Taiwan. As well as marshmallows, men started gifting chocolates and other small gifts to their partners, and a truly unique cultural tradition was born.

It’s still extremely popular today 

More than forty years since its inception, White Day is still extremely popular in Japan and Korea. In the lead up to March 14th, retail stores across the countries are packed with white gift ideas that men can easily gift to their partners; such is the cultural importance of the event.

And although things started with small gifts like marshmallows and chocolates, lots of men take things further and present their loved ones with extra special gifts like jewellery. If you’re dating a Japanese or Korean woman, celebrating White Day is important, be sure to add it to your diary!

White Day: tips for success 

As you can see, White Day is a big deal in Japan and South Korea. Here are four top tips to ensure you make the most of this celebration with your girlfriend:


  • Don’t forget! Make a note of the date in your phone or diary, so you don’t forget all about it.
  • Get creative. Although you can buy so many White Day gifts from retail outlets, consider making something to show your girlfriend how much you care.
  • Take her out. Although White Day is all about gifts, a special meal out certainly won’t go a miss and will be greatly appreciated.
  • Don’t ignore Valentine’s Day. Just because you’re celebrating White Day, it doesn’t mean you can ignore Valentine’s Day, so be sure to pick her up something special on both days!

If you’re dating a girl from Japan or South Korea, White Day is a big deal. Make sure you add it to your diary and plan something special to show her how much she means to you.


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