Most countries have a single day celebrating love, Valentine’s Day. But, not Korea. Korea seems to have a never-ending list of dates to celebrate couples’ admiration for one another.
Starting with 11/11, most commonly known as Pepero day. It’s a couples’ holiday manufactured by Lotte. What started as a way to advertise Pepero chocolate in the 1980’s quickly turned into a national holiday. It is now very similar to Valentine’s day. Couples exchange chocolates and go on dates.
Pepero Day is huge for the Lotte Group, which sees a massive number of chocolate sales on this day. As the day approaches you’ll find grocery stores like Emart, Homeplus, and even convenience stores carrying all sorts of flavors and variations of the chocolate-covered biscuits. In addition plushies, flowers, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates are massive sellers on Pepero day.
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Following Pepero day, is the internationally known Valentine’s day on February 14th. It is a tad different in Korea from the west. Valentine’s Day is the day that women have to buy presents for their significant others, not the men.
However, the tradition is slowly loosing momentum with more and more modern couples exchanging gifts regardless of gender.
As Valentines Day is for women gifting to men, White Day (March 14) is for men to give presents to women. However, this is NOT an equal exchange.
Men are expected to spend double the amount on gifts than what their partner spent on Valentine’s Day. So, you may want to be cautious of what you give your partner on Valentine’d Day if you are a woman! If you scroll through the White Day hashtags on Instagram, you’ll see dozens of Korean Girls showered with huge bouquets of flowers, luxury items, and high quality chocolates from brands like godiva.
If you happen to be single and didn’t get anything for White Day or Valentines’s, worry not, there is a day specifically made for you! Black Day, or Jjajjangmyeon Day on April 14th! And as you might imagine, yes, this day consists in going to a restaurant and ordering these delicious noodles to treat yourself because who needs a partner when you have nice food?
The Never-Ending Love Holidays
While the above love holidays are the 4 major ones, there are actually 12. The 14th of every single month is a love holiday.
In January, there is Diary Day (buy new year diaries for each other). Then, after Valentine’s, White, and Black Day there is Rose Day in May. June has Kiss Day, July has Silver Day (making couple rings together), August is Green Day (going to the mountains together), in September there is Photo Day. Then a personal favorite, Wine Day in October. Of course, November is for Pepero. Finally, in December you have hug day.
If you love love, there really are endless holidays that allow you to express it.