White Day in Korea – What’s this holiday all about?

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about White Day in Korea.

You may have heard of White Day in Korea from your Korean friends, your favorite K-pop idol, or from one of the Korean dramas you’ve watched. It’s a popular holiday that shares some similarities with Valentine’s Day.

However, there are a few important differences. We’ll tell you what you need to know!

This picture contains red and white balloons

What is White Day?

White Day is a romantic holiday on March  14 where boys give gifts to girls. It is a way for men to respond to the gifts they received from women on Valentine’s Day.

When is White Day celebrated?

White Day is celebrated on March 14th, one month after Valentine’s Day.

How is White Day in Korea celebrated?

White Day is celebrated by boys giving gifts to girls. Typically these gifts are candy, chocolate, or other types of gifts such as teddy bears.

On February 14th in South Korea, girls give out chocolates to their crush, significant other, or to their valentine. In response to this, every year on March 14,  a month after Valentine’s day, men would give gifts to women.

On March 14 of every year, men think about how to thank the women for the chocolates they received a month earlier.   March 14 is also seen as the day men get to repay the women for the gifts they received. It is also seen as the men offering these gifts to show that they reciprocate the affections the women have shown them.

In the past, the boy would give the girl marshmallows as a gift for White Day. Because marshmallows are typically white in color, that is where the name of the holiday also comes from.


Why is White Day Called White Day?

White Day originated from Japan, which was known then as Marshmallow Day.

On White Day (or Marshmallow Day), men return the favor by giving women white marshmallows. Later on, they changed the name to White Day to make it more open-ended. In this way, men wouldn’t be limited to just give marshmallows but anything white such as white chocolate.

This tradition has spread to Taiwan and even in South Korea.

What kind of presents can be given on White Day?

Boys usually give girls candy (사탕 | satang) or a flower bouquet on White Day.

In the second week of March, all of the convenience stores and supermarkets sell ready-made treat baskets and large stuffed teddy bears that men may also want to buy for their girlfriends on this day.

In addition, men may also buy more extravagant gifts like jewelry or lingerie.

What are the important words for White Day?

girlfriend – 여자친구 (yeojachingu)

boyfriend – 남자친구 (namjachingu)

candy – 사탕 (satang)

chocolate – 초코릿 (chokolit)

bouquet – 꽃다발 (kkotdabal)

present – 선물 (seonmul)

date – 데이트 (deiteu)

love – 사랑 (sarang)


I love you – 사랑해요 (Saranghaeyo)

March 14th – 3월 14일 (samwol sipsail)

confess one’s love – 사랑을 고백하다 (sarangeul gobaekada)

give a gift – 선물을 주다 (seonmureul juda)

loved one – 사랑하는 사람 (saranghaneun saram)

Valentine’s Day vs. White Day

Since men and women take turns to give each other gifts and treats, there are two Valentine’s Day holidays to celebrate in South Korea early in the year.

And just like Valentine’s Day can be seen as the day when women confess their crush or even love to the men, White Day can be seen as the day when men are encouraged to confess their own crushes and love to the women in their lives.

Why is White Day important?

Although a commercialized holiday from the start, March 14 is seen as an important holiday to celebrate. For couples, many feel it’s an obligation. Typically both parties do love receiving and giving gifts.

However, due to its nature, it can lead to some stress and feelings of gift-giving for the wrong reasons. It can be seen more as an expectation rather than simple enjoyment.

Nevertheless, it’s good to not take it too seriously. Instead, think of it as a fun little holiday for couples to show extra love to each other and go on a special date.

What do you think of White Day in Korea? Let us know in the comments below!

The post White Day in Korea – What’s this holiday all about? appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  


Please share, help Korean spread!