Sunday, November 10, 2013

[Korea Culture] Keep Calm and Enjoy Your Pepero

Do you know that Korea has 15 national holidays in a year?  In 2013, every month except in April, July and November, there is a national holiday!  That means me truly envious of their office workers!  In addition, there are 3 special days which aren't declared as national holidays, business establishments may declare as non-working days!

To top it up, Korea has Fun and Romantic days that fall on the 14th of EVERY month!

14 January : Diary Day where couples and friends exchange yearly planners.  Important dates such as anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions are marked down on their brand new planner.  That explains why book stores are stocked with beautiful planners by year end!

14 February : Valentine's Day.  On this day, ladies present chocolate to the person they like.

14 March : White Day.  It is the men's turn to present gifts to the person they like.  The custom in Korea is such that men should present a gift that is worth 3 times more.

14 April : Black Day.  Designated specially to the singles who will gather to eat Jjajangmyeon (black bean paste noodles) on this day.  Black is a symbol of feeling depressed.

The lists of holidays on the 14th goes on....

There is a new observance which arose in the 1990s when a couple of young teenage girls from Busan exchanged Pepero sticks, a cookie stick snack coated with chocolate, as a wish to grow tall and slim.   Pepero Day started when it became more popular.  Another legend says that Pepero Day started since the date "11/11" resembles 4 sticks of Pepero.  This is observed by young people and couples who exchange Pepero sticks on this day! 

Regardless, another day of observance means another day of fun!  So, just keep calm and enjoy your Pepero!

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