12
Mar
10

White Day, Black Day, and Days of Love

So this proves that you can always learn something new. While I’d heard about White Day, and I vaguely remember reading something about Black Day, I had no idea that the 14th of every month has been designated as some kind of “love” day in Korea.

I first found the list on Wikipedia, but since readers can edit that site, I went looking for more official information. While I know that Wikipedia strives to be accurate, I thought this entry might be someone’s idea of a joke. But nope, it wasn’t. I found a complete list on Korea’s official tourist site.

Here the most popular love days:
Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14
White Day, March 14
Black Day, April 14
Pepero Day, Nov. 11  (The one exception to the 14th day rule, although November does have special day on the 14th, it’s movie day.)

In this entry I’ll only talk about White Day and Black Day. (Valentine’s Day was dealt with in a previous entry, and Pepero Day deserves an entry all its own later in the year.

With Valentine’s Day a month past, most American guys probably aren’t thinking much about gifts of love right about now. But guys in Korea are getting ready to show their gals how much they mean to them. (As you remember, Feb. 14 in Korea is a day for girls to shower their guys with presents, often in the form of chocolate.)

That’s because March 14 is fast approaching and now it’s the men’s turn. On White Day Korean men traditionally give non-chocolate candy, jewelry, and/or flowers to their sweethearts. A nice dinner out is often part of the celebration as well. And while it seems that non-chocolate candy is the tradition have I seen some mention of white chocolate being given in theme with the holiday’s name.

Although my son drew me a card on Valentine’s Day, upon hearing of White Day he wants to do something that day too. He’s in a giving phase right now, so even when there’s not a reason to give gifts, he gives you pretend presents consisting of some toy wrapped up in a bandana.

So what happens if you don’t have a sweetheart and are left out of the Valentine’s Day and White Day celebrations? Well, that’s what Black Day is for on April 14. The tradition of black day is to go a restaurant with your unattached friends and eat jjajang myun, or black noodles, and “mourn” the single life. Some even dress in all black.

I think it would be fun to celebrate some of the Black Day traditions, even though I’m obviously attached. I happen to like jjajang myun, although the rest of my family isn’t crazy about it. If you want to try this dish, you can find a recipe for it here.

Or if that doesn’t sound like something your family would enjoy, you can still recognize Black Day by having your kids work on this coloring sheet of kids eating jjajang myun on Black Day.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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