White Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout Japan. This white-themed holiday falls one month after Valentine’s Day, on 14 March. During this time, couples, friends, and even colleagues who received gifts on Valentine’s Day must return the gesture.
White Valentine’s Day: The Rich Japanese History
White Day was initially called Marshmallow Day and was introduced in 1977. A Japanese confectionery store, Ishimuramanseido, invented this holiday. Its executive, Zengo Ishimura, was flipping through a women’s magazine for inspiration when he came across a particular letter from a lady. It read:
It’s not really fair that men get chocolate from women on Valentine’s Day, but they don’t return the favour. Why don’t they give us something? A handkerchief, candy, even marshmallows…
Inspired by this, Ishimura dedicated a day where men can express their appreciation to the women in their lives. He asked the women in his company to choose a day when they would like to be pampered with gifts; March 14 emerged the winner.
His confectionery store concocted chocolate-filled marshmallows as a sweet sentiment for men to surprise their loved ones with. This holiday gained traction and spread throughout Japan by the 1980s.
The market standardised Marshmallow Day to White Day and commercialised it. Soon, people accepted white chocolates and other tangibles as other White Day gifts.
White Valentine’s Day: 5 White-Themed Gifts
The Japanese call this classic gift Honmei-choco. It translates to “true feelings chocolate” reserved for that special someone.
In Japan, these chocolates are usually high quality and expensive, but men who want a cheaper alternative will make the chocolates themselves.
You do not have to break the bank over chocolates, as gifting handmade ones can equally, if not more, prove how valuable you view the receiver.
The Japanese believe hard candy represents attraction towards the receiver. The mentality behind this is hard candy does not dissolve as soon as you eat it, so your lover can enjoy its taste for much longer.
In the 1970s, before White Day skyrocketed, chocolate-covered marshmallows were the norm. Marshmallows symbolise pure love, whereas its chocolate coat stands for reciprocated love.
However, because marshmallows dissolve quickly as you consume them, they are now perceived to express the lack of interest for the other party. While some avoid marshmallows as White Day gifts, it is common for others to be unaware of their hidden meaning. These all depend on the place, receiver, and generation.
In addition, men can pair this with a handwritten note to clarify their intentions behind the gift. No confusion inflicted, so there is no need to fear away from this treat for White Day!
On White Day, Japanese men would gift their lover with white clothing, particularly white lingerie. Quite unlike any other gift, you might not want to get lingerie at the start of your relationship.
Despite being a hit or miss, lingerie can make for a classy and elegant surprise for the ladies. It typically shows that you know what looks good on your significant other.
With that being said, shopping for lingerie comes with a quandary. Getting the correct size and preferred designs for your lady can be tough. So, you might want to see what she already has prior.
White Valentine’s Spa Treats
Tangible gifts aside, why not surprise your sweet Valentine with a luxurious experience at a Japanese day spa? Inspired by White Valentine’s Day in Japan, Ikeda Spa has set aside White Valentine treats for lovebirds.
From 1 January to 29 February, surprise your lover with the Everlasting Love Series, featuring three swoon-worthy treats; White Wine Couple Onsen, White Rose Aromatherapy Massage, and White Chocolate Scrub. Choose among three couple packages, which are enough to set the mood for Valentine’s Day.
For single spa-goers, you too can embrace self-love. Opt between two solo packages to nourish your skin with glow-inducing ingredients.
Save up to 27% off with these specially curated packages, available exclusively at Bukit Timah branch only.