Five facts about Korea's White Day
March 14th is White Day in Korea, which celebrates love between couples. Here’s some facts that are interesting to know about the holiday.
1. It’s only really celebrated in Northeast Asia – While Valentine’s Day is celebrated a month earlier, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China are really the only places where this tradition is celebrated.
2. It’s the man’s turn to give gifts – Valentine’s Day differs in Korea as women are expected to present chocolate to men. On White Day, men reciprocate and give chocolates or candy to women who gave them chocolate on V-Day and also to someone who they may have their eye on.
3. Don’t cheap out on the gift – The Japanese tradition of sanbai gaeshi on White Day means that you should give three times the amount that you received on Valentine’s Day. If you give the same amount as you received, you’re pretty much guaranteeing to see yourself single again in the not to distant future.
4. White Day started in Fukuoka – White Day first saw the light of day in 1977 when a Fukuoka-based confectionary company tried to market the day as ‘marshmallow day’. While the first event wasn’t too much of a success, the national confectioners in Japan took notice and by the next year, marketed the day as a reply to Valentine’s Day. It was chosen as White Day for the purity of the color and for the color of sugar.
5. Don’t feel bad if you’re alone – If you didn’t receive any Valentine’s Day chocolate or you’re not giving out any on White Day, you’ve only got a month to go before you can celebrate Black Day on April 14th, where singles go out and eat jjajjangmyeong together to celebrate or mourn the fact of being without a partner.
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