Happy Marshmallow Day!
As it was called 40 years ago, but has since taken on its recent nomenclature as White Day. ホウイトデー is the answer to Valentine's Day, which as was written here is a traditional day for women to give men a treat in appreciation for all they've done for them. Men are expected to reciprocate and give gifts of Chocolate to their secretaries, wives, girlfriends, lovers, stalkees, etc.
Entire sections at the front of convenience stores are relegated to expensive fancy-wrapped presents, and it is hyped more than Valentine's for it is a bigger draw for consumer bucks. (Not that I'm at all cynical, this is not Black Day after all.) Valentine's Day is an import, White Day is an original concoction in Japan. Just as with the giving of chocolates on Valentine's, the driving force behind the popularization of White Day was a confectionery maker. A company making marshmallows launched a campaign in 1965 urging men to repay valentine gifts with soft, fluffy marshmallows. The name White Day comes from the color of the candy, and at first it was called Marshmallow Day.
When chocolatiers saw the opportunity to expand their business, they began marketing white chocolates, and other candy makers soon jumped on the bandwagon. Gradually, the original association with marshmallows disappeared; today, men no longer limit their purchases to confections, giving women handkerchiefs, accessories, and other gifts.
Here is a JPop star/ comedienne, Miyavi, checking out the beluga whales on White Day. She's not renowned for her genius, she refers to the シロイルカ (White Dolphins) as fish, but she is cute.
I gotta run downtown and pick up some goodies to give back some of the booty that I received last month. Hmmm. I need to find some little white pies, so I can kill two birds with one stone.
This is what I got (including some Hello Kitty Marshmallows!