Quirky Holidays in Korea

Hello dear readers!

As I promised in my previous post, I will be telling you all about those interesting days in Korea dedicated to something that is special for the day given.

There are plenty of days in the calendar so why not celebrate by having different days for all those different things you could think about.

So here goes my list:

  • March 3rd – The food industry is doing its best to promote this day (pronounced “sam-sam” in Korean) as samgyeopsal day, the day to celebrate the delicious thick slabs of Korean bacon.
  • May 2nd – is designated as “Duck Day”.
  • May 3rd – the following day is when you should eat squid and pork.
  • June 2nd – is a day of eating organic products.
  • September 9th – is when everyone should eat chicken.
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March 3rd – Samgyeopsal Day

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May 2nd – Duck Day

Although none of these approach the popularity of Pepero Day (November 11th ), Korea has seemingly dozens of these quirky, informal holidays that are enthusiastically celebrated by young people, although many are popular regardless of age.

Probably one of the very first things somebody notices after coming to Korea is the fact that the nation is pretty obsessed with girlfriends, boyfriends and, “When are you getting married, anyway?” there is no wonder that most of the holidays are centered around love.

Of course, there is Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated with vigorous enjoyment here in Seoul, but the local custom demands that it is women who give the gifts on February 14th. Exactly one month later, on March 14th, is the popular White Day, when men are supposed to return the favor at three-times the value of the gift they received back in February. Ha-ha well played, ladies!

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March 14 – White Day

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February 14th – Valetine’s Day

While these two holidays in particular are foreign imports, Valentine’s Day originally from Britain and White Day from Japan, there are of course, second-tier holidays that are wholly Korean inventions. A perfect example for this is April 14th which is declared Black Day. Also known as “solo regiment” (솔로부대), this day mourns those who are single. But unlike other holidays you won’t see sidewalks, filled with chocolate towers since there is nothing really to be sold on Black Day, except jjajangmyun, a Chinese-inspired noodle dish, served in dark bean sauce that has become the holiday’s signature dish.

But why stop here? The list of Koreans quirky holidays goes further. The 14th of every month has been designated a love-related holiday. Seemingly May 14th is Rose Day, although it is also Yellow Day. June 14th is Kiss Day and July 14th is Silver Day, a holiday when you exchange silver rings with your lover. And then comes 14th August, known as Green Day when couples drink bottles of the alcoholic beverage – soju, which is typically sold in green bottles, and you are supposed to go and take a walk in the woods. Don’t ask me why. But if you can’t really find woods in Seoul, I guess Cheonggyecheon stream (청계천) will suffice.

And if you are lucky enough and all of the above mentioned love days prove successful, then you can celebrate May 21st – Married Couples Day and perhaps a bit later (haha or maybe not), June 6th – Baby’s Day.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this rather long post and got to know Korean customs a bit better.

 

Article by Jani from Bulgaria

Trackbacks

  1. […] it might have been the day of the week that we went (it was a Tuesday) or the fact that it was White Day (화이트데이), but it did slightly change the atmosphere for the evening. Additionally, I […]

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