valentine's day in korea

Valentine’s Day in Korea (발렌타인 데이!)

 


How To Celebrate Valentine's Day Like a Korean

No one does lovey-dovey coupley stuff better than the Koreans.  This is evidenced by their tendency to snuggle in public, book lovers' seats in movie theaters, and celebrate a number of made-up holidays dedicated to coupledom.  While each holiday has its own concept and is celebrated on the 14th of each month, there's no doubt that the biggest of these is Valentine's Day.

Although the Western-inspired celebration of romance didn't become popular in Korea until the mid-1900s, it has since become one of the most anticipated holidays in the country, at least for those with a significant other.  Valentine's Day, unlike in the West, is a day reserved for women to celebrate the special men in their lives while the men reciprocate in March.  Despite this, it's not unusual for Korean men to do something nice for their girlfriends on V-Day.

So, how exactly do Koreans celebrate Valentine's Day, you ask?  And, how can you celebrate Valentine's Day like a Korean?  Check out Seoul Searching's suggestions to Koreanize your special day of romance this year.

Make Personalized Chocolates

Valentine's Day is synonymous with chocolate, and this is just as true in Korea as it in the West.  Giving chocolate to your sweety is pretty much obligatory and because of this, it's hard to walk down the street without running into sales displays of all sorts of chocolates and chocolate-inspired desserts.  Even convenience stores pre-package Valentine's Day goodies for those on the go.  But, to most, this is a cop out.


Korea's Hallmark Holidays

The argument that holidays such as Valentine's Day and Halloween are manufactured by greeting card companies and supermarket chains definitely holds plenty of water back in the Western World - but marketing savvy Korea has taken the issue to dizzying new heights. While holidays such as Chuseok and the Lunar New Year embody the proud traditions of Korea, other holidays such as White Day and Pepero Day seem to be little more than manufactured holidays.

But isn't that a part of Korea's quirky charm? In my mind these holidays are right up there alongside bizarre fuzzy hats shaped like bear's heads and atrocious matching couple outfits.

With White Day falling today (March 14th), I thought it'd be a good time to highlight a few of Korea's more unusual holidays.


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