Japanese Language Blog

What is “White Day” in Japan? Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Culture

Today is March 14th, which means it is “White Day (ホワイトデー)” in Japan. Along with Valentine’s Day, White Day is a special day for many people. As I wrote in my article the other day, Valentine’s Day in Japan is the day when many women give chocolates to men, including someone very special, casual friends or co-workers. White Day is basically the day when guys return their gifts back to women from whom they received chocolates or any gifts. I am glad that there is a day called, White Day for women to get the gifts back. Otherwise, it won’t be fair to women! Right? Believe it or not, White Day has been celebrated in Japan since 1978, and yes, it was started by the confectionery company back then, promoting men to buy their marshmallows as the return gift for Valentine’s Day. These days, there are many sweets available for men to purchase for White Day. However, as I was reading more about the White Day, I was surprised to find out that some of the major sweets has its own meanings as a gift.


“I am sorry, I am not interested in you!” Ladies, if you received a marshmallow from a man on White Day in Japan, I am sorry, but he might not be too crazy about you. Apparently, giving out marshmallows for White Day is considered “no interest” for the person.  In my opinion, it is better not to receive anything if you are getting marshmallows from guys on White Day!


“You are my good friend!”  Cookies come in all sizes and shapes with all kinds of designs. Apparently, men give out cookies to women who they think “just friends” on White Day in Japan. I am sorry if you received cookies from someone you really love on White Day.


“I love you too!”  I’ve never imagined that guys would pick candies as a gift to return to someone they love. Candies seem to be the one that shows the true love to a special woman. Perhaps candies are sweet and remains sweet in their mouth, and that symbolizes the lasting love? Either way, you are a lucky girl if you received candies back from a man you love. 🙂 There are many more sweets available right before the White Day, such as pies, cakes, and jellies, etc..Gentlemen out there, if you would like to avoid any confusion with women, you might want to try giving out sweets other than the ones mentioned above. The video below will give you an idea what’s available out there!

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.


  1. Erron Seibel:

    Happy White Day,