Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to celebrate Valentine's Day, Korean Style?

Valentine's Day, i know of, starts off with the men organizing last minute gifts (do they ever get it right?!), scrambling for the roses which are now exorbitantly priced, standing in long lines to grab something pink off the rack!

red tulips for valentine's day

valentine's day korean style


Here in Korea, 14th February finds women patiently standing in long lines for chocolates and spending way too much for the flowers for the perfect someone. Confused?

Chocolate of Love
On Valentine's day, it is tradition for the women in South Korea to give chocolates for the men. Store bought, simple chocolates as a courtesy, social obligation for all the men in their life and they go to all lengths to get the chocolates right for the men they love by making their own or customizing to the core. The idea is that the girl shows her love, sincerity and hard work  for the guy by giving him personalized chocolate. This is also the day, i hear that the girls profess their love to the special someone by giving him chocolates.  Korean guys have it easy, you say?

White Day
One month later, on March 14th, its the guy's turn to show his love and sincerity to his girl by getting her something white- white chocolate, candies, cookies, jewellery, dolls, white lingerie etc. It is an unwritten rule that the guy give a gift three times as expensive as the gift he received from the girl! :D

Black Day 
All those sadly single people who did not get to celebrate Valentine's day or the White day, tend to get together and celebrate the Black Day on April 14th. (How thoughtful is the Korean way of life :) They wear black on that day and eat jjajangmyeong, which is- you guessed it- black! It is thick wheat noodles topped with black bean paste with pork and vegetables. And it is generally not advisable for the girls and guys who got gifts on Valentine's day or White day to have jjajangmyeong on the Black day.

If you think there is a ring to the 14th of each month being celebrated in Korea, you are absolutely right! Happily for the retailer, there is "Day" affixed with 14th of each month, mainly for the couples who are crazily in love. Here is the list:

Jan 14: Diary Day- Couples exchange diaries in hopes that the other doesn't forget the important anniversaries, birthdays etc.

Feb 14th: Valentine's Day- when the women stand in lines.

March 14th: White Day- when the men stand in lines.

April 14th: Black Day- standing in lines for the jjajangmyeong!

May 14th: Roses Day - Couples exchange roses on this day! I am guessing there is going to be long lines of both men and women paying mighty bucks for this one too! If you are wondering why the long lines is because of this!

June 14th: Kiss Day -Kiss your significant other on this day! Atleast this doesnt involve long lines and losing money.

July 14th: Silver Day- Exchanging silver gifts. Ka-ching!

August 14th: Green Day- Couples escape to nature to spend some quality time together while the singles wallow in soju.

September 14th: Photo Day- Couples probably remember to print out the digital pics that they have accumulated so far or just go on clicking a few hundred more.

October 14th: Wine Day- I expect lines for this one too.

November 11th: Peppero Day- People exchange the sweet peppero sticks. This day is gaining popularity whereby promoting more lines to the retailer.

November 14th: Movie Day- More lines :)

December 14th: Hug Day- Hugs to ward away the cold. Lines to the obstetrician?


ABC Wednesday- E for Exchanging gifts!




27 comments:

  1. Fascinating and a bonanza for the retailers!

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  2. Happy Valentine's day to you & yours!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks ME. Wishing you a Happy Valentine's day too!

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  3. OMG, Really? So damn interesting!!!!
    Have you picked up chocolates, yet, Meoww? I like the White Day idea, and the Green one too :)

    I have to thank you for this post and all that info. I'm so fascinated, too.

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    1. I baked a chocolate cake for my valentine, DN :) Waiting to see the *3 efforts of Sainthill :D

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  4. exciting ways to celebrate
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  5. There can always be an Excuse for Exchanging gifts.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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    Replies
    1. Seoul is a Shopper's paradise, Leslie. Now, they can have reasons for shopping :)

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  6. Really interesting information. I love to learn about other cultures.

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  7. Wow! All kinds of celebrations through out the year. :)

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  8. What an interesting post ! I didn't know that there were so many celebrations in Korea! We don't celebrate Valentine very well. Some people send cards without mentioning their names. Most people do nothing. Anyway I wish you a very happy Valentine!!
    Wil, ABCW Team.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Reader Wil. Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day too!

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  9. That's one of the many fascinating stuff I've learned during our two years of living there.

    Catching up with ABC Wednesday entries on Valentine's day!

    I hope you'd come and check out my Eskimo

    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for linking up to <a href="http://www.kids-e-connection.com:>Color Connection</a> last week. The linky is up now, come join us again.

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  10. Koreans make it easy to remember each month! I learned a lot with this post!

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    1. And fun stuff to do every month too :)

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  11. HI,
    WISH YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES A VERY HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY..HAVE A GOOD ONE.NICE COLLECTION
    Regards
    kiran
    www.shopncool.com

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  12. Koreans seems different when it comes to style. Interesting how they use the 14th relating to each month with couples. But why the date change in November?
    I think mostly women like more chocolates than men and I’m sure the chocolates taste very sweet and special when it gift by girls. :)

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  13. wow!! that is a great way to keep doing little things for ur loved one!! just one day for celebrating love would never suffice, a year long celebration is perfect!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, tlp, i never thought of it this way! :)

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  14. wow !!! what fun you and sainthill would be having!!!! very interesting !

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  15. really, really interesting. i found myself smiling all throughout the post. glad you'll never run out of reason to give and to show love.

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  16. hmm.. that was something really awesome ideas or concept of spreading love.

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