#1 Best Guide: Japanese White Day Celebration

Japanese White Day Celebration

You’ve heard all about Valentine’s Day, but have you ever experienced the little-known sequel, Japanese White Day, on March 14th?

One month after Valentine’s chocolates are given out, it’s the guys’ turn to return the favor. Japanese White Day is when men gift back sweet marshmallows, white chocolate, jewelry, and other small tokens of appreciation to the gals in their lives. It celebrates all the warm fuzzies – romance, friendship, obligations between teachers and students or coworkers, anyone who was nice enough to give you a Valentine’s gift gets one back!

Now I know you’re thinking Japanese White Day sounds an awful lot like “Sorry I Forgot About V-Day, Here’s a Month-Late Present.” But it’s quite the opposite in Japan! On Japanese White Day, it’s all about reciprocating affections and deepening bonds with thoughtful little surprises.

Gettin’ curious? I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about celebrating this day and the best Japanese phrases to use. This is important for you to learn because, who knows, you may even find a marshmallow surprise with your name on it next time!

Gifting during Japanese White Day

What Is Japanese White Day?

So what exactly is this lesser-known sequel to Valentine’s Day all about? In plain terms, Japanese White Day on March 14th is when gentlemen give lovely gifts to the ladies in their lives. Specifically, to every gal who was nice enough to give them chocolates or other treats on February 14th. Consider it the “thank you and thinking of you” holiday!

Unlike in many cultures, gift-giving is a two-way street in Japan. The recipients like to return the favor, and oscillations of treating each other back and forth strengthen relationships. Japanese White Day arose in the 1970s from the idea that the girls should get some gifts too, after making Valentine’s chocolates!

What Is Marshmallow Day?

Originally, this aspect of the Japanese culture was called Marshmallow Day. The story is that there was once a small sweets shop owner in Fukuoka who came up with “Marshmallow Day” on March 14th for gents to give back sweets. Marshmallows suited the concept well, white-colored like purity to match young love, plus fluffy, sweet surprises. The name later evolved into the more flexible “White Day” while keeping those round white marshmallow vibes.

What Is Sanbai Gaeshi?

Sanbai gaeshi (三倍返し) kicks White Day up a notch by having guys give a gift back that’s triple the value of what they received on V-Day! This concept emerged sometime after White Day caught on in the late 1980s. It highlights the reciprocation aspect inherent to Japanese culture called okaeshi (お返し).

There are a few theories on why sanbai gaeshi developed as part of celebrating Japanese White Day. Perhaps gentlemen wanted to express deep appreciation for the women who treated them to Valentine’s chocolate each year. Or the prosperous economy in the bubbly 1980s simply allowed guys with fatter wallets to splurge.

How To Celebrate The Japanese White Day?

Originally, polite gents were to give lady friends, co-workers, and romantic partners white-colored treats like marshmallows, white chocolate, and white cake. Plus, white accessories like jewelry, handkerchiefs, or hair decorations. But thanks to rising creativity and broader budgets, any thoughtful gift goes these days!

Fun picks include homemade chocolate, cute cookies or macarons in his & hers designs, Japanese wagashi, aromatherapy candles for relaxation, luxe bath salts or lotions, and sentimental jewelry. If you can, add a personal touch like a hand-written card or crafted gift. Experiences also make thoughtful presents – event tickets, meals out, and trips together. Basically, anything miniature, sweet, scented, sparkly, or heart-warming!

Japanese White Day chocolates

Easy Japanese Phrases For Giving White Day Gift

So you’ve got your White Day gift ready to exchange hands, but what should you say when presenting it to Japanese women? Here are some easy Japanese phrases to accompany that token of appreciation and surprise your romantic interest!

“Hompo arigatou gozaimasu”

Japanese: 本当にありがとうございます

This means, “Thank you very much for the other day.” A polite way to reference the Valentine’s gift you’re now returning the favor for.

“Kore wo dozo”

Japanese: これをどうぞ

Simply means “Please take this” as you hand over the gift. Feel free to add “tanoshinde kudasai” (楽しんで下さい), meaning “please enjoy this,” too.

“White Day Omedetou”

Japanese: ホワイトデーおめでとう

Say “Happy White Day” to celebrate the occasion together. Or get creative with “Shiroi cho-ko de shiawase ni nare” (白いチョコで幸せになれ), meaning “Be happy with this white chocolate.”

“Okaeshi kitai shiteiru kara!”

Japanese: お返し期待しているから

This playful phrase means “because I’m expecting something in return!” – a woman can say this when giving a Valentine’s gift to hint she wants a White Day gift back.

“Anata ni muchuu desu”

Japanese: あなたに夢中です

Meaning “I’m crazy about you,” this passionate romantic phrase is for someone you have strong feelings for.

“Iroiro arigatou gozaimasu”

Japanese: 色々ありがとうございます

“Thank you for everything” – a nice general gratitude phrase for White Day. Spread the positive vibes!

Ready To Give Your Obligation Chocolate?

And that’s the full lowdown on Japanese White Day, the unofficial reverse Valentine’s Day, giving guys everywhere a second chance at spreading sweetness after Valentine’s Day. Maybe now you’re craving rich white chocolate or dreaming up sentimental surprises for your own special someone’s White Day. At the very least, I hope you’ve discovered the meaning behind this humble yet heartfelt occasion.

Want to level up your Japanese language skills to better connect in cross-cultural friendships and relationships? Download the Ling app for bite-sized lessons and quizzes covering all sorts of practical conversations. Immerse yourself in the sound of the language through Ling to fully engage with special moments like White Day abroad and impress Japanese speakers when you express yourself from the heart. Maybe you’ll even pick up a sweet new friend or match in the process!

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