White Day!

Mar. 14th, 2004 08:08 pm
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I suddenly realized that today is White Day (aka Howaito day). White Day is a holiday celebrated in Japan on March 14, exactly one month after Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day in Japan, the girls give chocolate to the boys, so White Day is the boys' opportunity to return the favor, by giving gifts and candy to the girls. Something about the reciprocity of this appeals to me. I think part of the reason I've always resented Valentine's Day as practiced here in the US is because most of the expectations are placed on the men - they're supposed to buy flowers and chocolates and gifts, and take their girlfriends or wives out to someplace romantic for dinner or for the weekend or something like that. I want to be romantic, too! I'm the kind of person that likes to shower her beloved with gifts and affection, and I'm not comfortable when it's a one-way thing where I'm passively receiving the tokens of adulation from my admirer.

I also like that it's considered extra romantic for the girls to make the chocolates themselves, usually in heart shaped molds and then decorated with some sort of romantic phrase of some sort (usually in English). This appeals to me because I like to cook, and in my homebody Cancerian* heart, cooking for the ones I love is the height of happiness. Of course, there are disturbing implications to it as well, related to sexual inequality, something I feel strongly about (natch!). But I can be okay with being feminine and subservient once in a while for romantic purposes, I suppose.

From what I've heard, though, Valentine's Day and White Day aren't exactly equal. The girls have to give chocolates to all the boys they know, not just the one they really like. It's called giri-choco (obligation chocolate), and it's a token given to everyone so that nobody feels left out. On White Day, the boys don't generally give gifts to everyone, I don't think, but the guys with girlfriends are in trouble, as it's definitely an opportunity for the girls to ask for expensive gifts like perfume and jewelry.

I think I'll plan on instituting White Day here, but since the guys have already claimed Valentine's Day as their day to be romantic, I'll claim White Day for us girls. (If you're in a same-sex relationship, I suppose you'll just have to agree on who gets which one.) I haven't decided what sorts of romantic gifts should be traditional for the American White Day, but I'm thinking about it. Any suggestions?

*Note: I don't really believe in astrology that much, but this is one aspect of the typical Cancerian personality that really applies to me.

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