White Day: The Women’s Valentine’s Day in Japan

ImageJust as the States borrowed the hamburger, Christmas trees, and burritos from other countries, Japan has the same tendency. With Valentine’s Day, it’s no exception. But Japan did more than adopt Valentine’s Day into its social holidays; it made White Day (March 14) a secondary Valentine’s Day where only men give chocolates to women. The custom is if a male receives a gift on Valentine’s Day (where only women give gifts to men), the male must return a gift with three times the value of their Valentine’s Day gift. 

Last year, most of female teachers at my schools complained about how the male teachers only bought them White Day gifts while they actually gathered together and made Valentine’s Day gifts. This year, the sports club teachers actually made a poor man’s tiramisu (an Italian dessert) consisting of vanilla pudding, graham crackers, and cocoa powder. No complaints from the female teachers. Everyone, including all of the male teachers who didn’t participate in the tiramisu-making, was impressed. On top of the tiramisu, I received a dainty tin can with chocolates from the English department and a small box of Belgium chocolate from the basketball coach. All of the gifts were delicious, so I’m really happy I didn’t take a day off!

 

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