White Day is the day on March 14 when men who received chocolates on Valentine's Day return the favor to the woman. On White Day, the most common sweets are candies, marshmallows, and chocolates.
To begin with, Valentine's Day is a day for couples around the world to celebrate their love for each other, enjoy a meal and give each other gifts. However, it is a uniquely Japanese custom for women to give chocolates to men and White Day is also a Japanese tradition.
In the 1970s, as the Japanese way of Valentine's Day spread, more and more people began to give gifts in return, because of the Japanese sensibility that if you receive a gift, you must give something in return.
Until White Day was created, confectionery manufacturers and stores promoted their products as "return Valentine's Day" and had their own names and gifts, such as "return Valentine's Day," "marshmallow day," "cookie day," and "flower day".
There are multiple theories as to who invented the "White Day" that remains today. The most popular theories are those of the National Candy Industry Cooperative and Manseido Ishimura, an old Japanese confectionary shop.
The confectionery industry proposed marshmallows, cookies, and candies as gifts in return. Initially, names and dates varied, such as "Marshmallow Day" and "Candy Day," but in 1980, the National Candy Industry Cooperative named March 14 "White Day" and it gradually took root after a large-scale campaign was launched in department stores and radio advertisements.
The other theory is that Ishimura Manshodo, a long-established Japanese confectionery company, started selling "Marshmallow Day" in 1978. However, Marshmallow Day was not a hit, and it struggled for about 7 to 8 years. At that time, a department store advised them to change the name to "White Day" to reflect the white color of the marshmallow.
Since then, it has become easier for people outside the confectionery industry to enter the market, and the current style of White Day has taken root. The name "White Day" is registered as a memorial day by the Japan Anniversary Association as a day established by Ishimura Manshodo.
In the beginning, it was common to give candies or marshmallows however, there have been many different options for White Day gifts recently.
There was a time when people used to say that you should give back three times the amount of money you received on White Day, but now it seems that the standard is to give the same or slightly more than the amount you received.
The most popular White Day gift is sweets. In addition to standard candies, cookies, and marshmallows, there is a wide variety of chocolates, macarons, and madeleines. Major patisserie brands also offer special White Day products. When it is a return to the favor to their partner, they tend to give something other than sweets.
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