In this article, we’re going to tell you all about Black Day in Korea.
South Korea is known for having a lot of special days on top of national holidays. One of them is known as Black Day.
In our other articles, we have introduced you to some important couples’ holidays in South Korea, including Valentine’s Day on February 14 and White Day on March 14. Today it’s time to learn of the holiday that follows them in April, called Black Day, celebrated every April 14.
What is Black Day?
Where the other romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day and White Day revolve around couples showering each other with candies, gifts, and doing whatever activities the days are known for, Black Day is quite different. Unlike Valentine’s day or White Day wherein it’s couples who celebrate, Black Day in South Korea is a holiday that is reserved for single people.
When is Black Day?
Black Day is celebrated every April 14, one month after White Day on March 14.
How is Black Day celebrated?
On this day, April 14, don’t be surprised if you see young people eating a bowl with black food, like black noodles! It is customary to eat 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon), which are noodles in black bean sauce, if you happen to be single. The black color of the sauce goes accordingly with the day’s name and the 짜장면 dish is also seen as comfort food by many.
Some singles may go all out with this day and dress in black, from clothes to nail polish. You may even be able to find 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) eating contests on this day or just single people enjoying this black noodle dish. There is also an intriguing spike in the sales of black coffee, and some matchmaking events may be offered to single people on Black Day.
Unlike Valentine’s Day and White Day, Black Day doesn’t require people to give gifts.
How did Black Day start?
Originally April 14th was seen as a day of sorrow, hence the name “black”. It was a day where single people could come together to mourn their singleness and drown their sorrows in comfort food. However, in modern-day South Korea, it can also be seen as a day of celebration for singles, as the emphasis on the importance of being in a relationship decreases in society. But whether you are celebrating or mourning, eating 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) on this day, perhaps with black coffee for dessert, is the quintessential way to embrace the day.
What exactly is 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon)?
At its roots, 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) is a dish made of noodles imported from China. However, today’s 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) in South Korea is incomparable to any Chinese noodle dishes. The noodles are thick and made of wheat.
On top of the noodles, or separately, is served the sauce. It is a black sweet bean sauce, mixed with soy sauce, pork, onions, and zucchini. Often it also includes seafood and cabbage, and it’s also possible to find meat-free versions. As a decoration on top, you may find cucumber and boiled eggs.
It is a popular dish also outside of Black Day, as its price is low and it’s easy to find restaurants serving 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) close to schools and offices. Its taste is mild, and therefore easy to eat for those who don’t like salty or spicy food.
What do you think about Black Day? Do you think you’ll celebrate Black Day this or next year too? Let us know in the comments below?