Today is a holiday of sorts here in South Korea: White Day. A month ago, we celebrated Valentine's Day. Like in America, Valentine's Day celebrates couples or prospective love interests. However, it is a male-centric holiday. If you are the female half of a couple, you buy chocolate or a present for your man, but do not receive a gift in return (although it is common for couples to go on a romantic date). The reason is that women are celebrated one month later on White Day. In the days leading up to March 14, it's deja vu all over again as the convenience stores and shops put out flowery baskets and heart-shaped candy boxes for men to buy for their women.
This holiday creates an interesting dynamic for gift exchange. On the positive side, men often confess that they are unsure what presents to buy for their girlfriends, especially at the beginning of the relationship. This holiday pair system gives the man the advantage of already knowing how "serious" of a present he received. On the other hand, the relationship is one month more serious on the relationship scale when his turn comes. And more importantly, as I pointed out to some coworkers, the man has the opportunity to receive a gift and then become single before he has to return the favor (not saying it happens often, just saying it's possible).
Luckily, if the man should choose to behave that way, the woman could still celebrate herself on Black Day, the April 14th holiday in honor of singles.