By Mehreen Imam, North Cross School
A month after Valentine’s Day, on March 14, people in several Asian countries celebrate White Day, which is considered an “answer day” to the gifts given on Feb. 14.
On Valentine’s Day, it is traditionally observed that women give gifts, usually chocolate, to men to express love, friendship or social obligation. “Honmei choco” are handmade chocolates, which give the impression of sincerity, effort and emotion. But “giri choco” is chocolate given out to classmates or co-workers as an obligation.
The reverse happens on White Day. Men traditionally give cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, candy, marshmallows or other thank-you gifts as a way of returning the favor from a month before.
But on White Day, there is a catch. Some people follow what is known as ”sanbai gaeshi,” which requires that the return gift be two to three times the cost of the Valentine’s Day gift. That’s a pretty good investment!
White Day falls the week before the start of spring and happens to coincide with the worldwide celebration of Pi Day. But don’t get me started about that — I could go on forever.