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Thursday, 12th March 2015
In General Japan News,

Japan ready to celebrate 'White Day' on March 14th

A month after Valentine's Day, men all over Japan will be scrambling to buy gifts for their loved ones on March 14th, in tradition of celebrating 'White Day'.

Unlike the Japanese custom for women to present gifts to men on actual Valentine's Day, on White Day, men are supposed to return the favour. Among the popular gifts often dished out are chocolates and flowers, but they should traditionally be white regardless of what the present is, whether it is jewellery, clothes or candles.

Department stores all over the likes of Tokyo and Osaka will be advertising with gift displays to remind men, especially in regards to the two types of chocolates that are given out at this time of year: 'giri-choco' meant for friends and colleagues (meaning obligation and having no romantic connotations), and 'honmei-choco' that is meant for lovers. However, usually handmade chocolate is much more appreciated due to the perception of the effort and sincerity gone behind into making your own.

White Day was first marked in Japan in 1978, being launched by the National Confectionery Industry Association as a response to Valentine's Day. Over time, this practice has also spread to neighbouring countries, such as South Korea, China and Taiwan. However, in South Korea, it tends to be lollipops or hard candies that men will offer to women on this day.

In some varieties, different tasty treats carry different meanings, such as white chocolate representing casual friendship, dark chocolate suggesting likeness or kindred spirits, while chocolate cookies are a sign of love and affection. Either way, Japan is set to go White Day mad, when high-street stores do their best to entice considerate men through their doors this weekend.

Related news stories:
Monthly foreign visitors to Japan reached record high in March (24th April 2015)
March unemployment steady in Japan (27th April 2012)