Valentine's Day vs. White Day

What's the Difference?

Valentine's Day and White Day are two popular holidays celebrated in different parts of the world. Valentine's Day, widely celebrated on February 14th, is a day dedicated to expressing love and affection towards romantic partners, friends, and family members. It is characterized by the exchange of gifts, cards, and flowers. On the other hand, White Day, observed on March 14th primarily in East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea, is a day when men reciprocate the gestures of love they received on Valentine's Day. Men traditionally give gifts, usually white-colored candies or chocolates, to women as a token of their appreciation. While both holidays revolve around love and gift-giving, White Day specifically emphasizes the importance of reciprocation and gratitude.


AttributeValentine's DayWhite Day
OriginWestern traditionJapanese tradition
DateFebruary 14thMarch 14th
RecipientPrimarily womenPrimarily men
GiftsChocolates, flowers, cardsReturn gifts, typically chocolates
TraditionsExpressing love and affectionReturning gifts to express gratitude
ColorRed, pinkWhite
SignificanceCelebrating romantic loveReturning affection and appreciation

Further Detail


Valentine's Day and White Day are two significant holidays celebrated in different parts of the world, each with its own unique traditions and customs. While Valentine's Day is widely celebrated in Western countries, White Day is predominantly observed in East Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both Valentine's Day and White Day, highlighting their similarities and differences.

Origin and History

Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day, has its roots in ancient Roman traditions. It is believed to have been named after Saint Valentine, a Christian martyr who lived in the 3rd century. The holiday gained popularity in the 14th century when it became associated with romantic love and courtly gestures. Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th each year, with couples exchanging gifts, cards, and expressing their love for one another.

On the other hand, White Day originated in Japan in the late 1970s as a response to Valentine's Day. In Japan, Valentine's Day is primarily observed by women giving chocolates to men. White Day, celebrated on March 14th, was introduced as a day for men to reciprocate the gesture by giving gifts to women. The name "White Day" was chosen to symbolize purity and the color of sugar, which is a common gift on this day.

Gift Exchange

One of the key aspects of both Valentine's Day and White Day is the exchange of gifts between loved ones. On Valentine's Day, it is customary for couples to exchange romantic gifts such as flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and greeting cards. The gifts are often accompanied by heartfelt messages expressing love and affection.

Similarly, on White Day, men reciprocate the gesture by giving gifts to women who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. The gifts on White Day can vary from chocolates and candies to flowers, jewelry, and even clothing. It is considered a way for men to show their appreciation and affection towards the women in their lives.

While both holidays involve gift-giving, there is a notable difference in the recipients. On Valentine's Day, gifts are exchanged between couples, whereas on White Day, the focus is on men giving gifts to women who have shown them affection on Valentine's Day.

Customs and Traditions

Valentine's Day is often associated with various customs and traditions that vary across different cultures. In Western countries, it is common for couples to go out on romantic dates, have candlelit dinners, or exchange handwritten love letters. Red roses are a popular symbol of love and are often given as a gift on this day.

On the other hand, White Day customs differ slightly. In Japan, it is customary for men to give white-colored gifts, such as white chocolates, marshmallows, or cookies. The gifts are often beautifully wrapped and accompanied by a heartfelt message. In South Korea, men not only give gifts but also take their partners out for a romantic dinner or plan special activities to celebrate the day.

Another interesting tradition associated with White Day is the concept of "giri-choco" in Japan. Giri-choco refers to obligatory chocolates given by women to male colleagues, friends, or acquaintances as a gesture of friendship or social obligation. This practice is separate from the romantic gift-giving between couples and adds a unique aspect to White Day celebrations.

Commercialization and Cultural Significance

Both Valentine's Day and White Day have become highly commercialized holidays, with businesses capitalizing on the opportunity to sell gifts, chocolates, and other romantic merchandise. In many countries, the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day and White Day are marked by extensive marketing campaigns and promotions.

Valentine's Day holds significant cultural importance in Western countries, where it is seen as a day to celebrate love and romance. It is an occasion for couples to express their feelings and strengthen their relationships. The day is also celebrated by friends and family members who exchange cards and small gifts to show appreciation and affection.

White Day, although not as widely celebrated globally, holds great cultural significance in East Asian countries. It is seen as an opportunity for men to reciprocate the love and affection shown to them on Valentine's Day. The day is not only celebrated by couples but also by friends and colleagues who exchange gifts as a token of friendship and gratitude.


Valentine's Day and White Day are two distinct holidays celebrated in different parts of the world, each with its own set of customs and traditions. While Valentine's Day is widely observed in Western countries, White Day is predominantly celebrated in East Asian countries. Both holidays involve the exchange of gifts and are associated with love and affection, but they differ in terms of the recipients and cultural significance. Whether it's expressing love on Valentine's Day or reciprocating affection on White Day, these holidays provide an opportunity for people to celebrate and strengthen their relationships.

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