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?
The other romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day and White Day revolve around couples showering each other with different kinds of chocolate, 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 and two months after Valentine’s Day. It’s the last of Korea’s romantic holidays.
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. This noodle dish in black bean sauce is also considered a comfort food so it perfectly fits the day’s mood.
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 bowl of black noodle dish. There is also an intriguing spike in the sales of black coffee, and companies may offer some matchmaking events 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 since emphasizing the importance of being in a relationship has decreased over the years. But whether you are celebrating or mourning, eating 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) on this day, perhaps with black coffee for dessert (with dark chocolate perhaps?), is the quintessential way to embrace the day.
How is Black Day different from Valentines Day and White Day?
While Valentine’s Day and White day in Korea focuses on couples or people in relationships, Black day mainly celebrates single people. There is no gift-giving involved during Black day, so companies usually focus on selling their products to single people.
Some companies might hold dating activities or offer discounts to single people. Restaurants could have 짜장면 (jjajangmyeon) eating contests for single people. Even though people don’t normally give gifts during this holiday, there are definitely still a lot of opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the holiday.
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 dish. 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 paste 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 also a popular dish 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?