Think Valentine’s Day is just a single day for men to buy their ladies flowers and chocolate? Well South Koreans do things a little differently, with a variety of different days to suit both loved up couples and lonely singles.
Strangely in Korea, it is tradition for women to give men chocolate on Valentine’s Day to show their love or affection. Men then have the opportunity to return the compliment a month later on March 14, which is known as White day. The tradition of the two days originated in Japan in the 1930s, which was followed suit by Korea, however Koreans have taken it to the next level with the addition of Black day.
For those that haven’t received any love on Valentines or White Day, a month later comes Black Day on April 14. Black Day is an unofficial holiday for lonely singles to come together in their darkest clothing and eat bowls of Jajangmyeon, a popular Korean dish of black bean paste noodles. Jajangmyeon fits in well with the holiday as it’s known as a comfort food and is very dark in colour.
While the unofficial holiday sounds quite depressing, it’s actually more lighthearted, as it provides an excuse for Koreans to get together with friends to eat and celebrate.
Black Day has become increasingly prominent as events are held for lonely Korean singles, and a K- Pop group even released a song called ‘Merry Black Day’ in 2014.