Spring is upon us and love is in the air! With the days getting warmer and the trees beginning to bloom again, it’s the perfect time of year to cherish your loved ones and perhaps begin a new romantic endeavor.
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to let your significant other know exactly how you feel about them and make them feel appreciated. However, that’s the only official romantic holiday that the Western world has to showcase love and affection.
On the other hand, love in Korea is an enduring experience with a slew of different love-oriented special occasions to remind those celebrating how important it is to express appreciation and spread the love!
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Read on to learn about a few of Korea’s holidays devoted to love (or lack thereof). This article uses some Hangul, the Korean alphabet. If you can’t read Korean it is possible to learn Hangul in just ninety minutes, so what are you waiting for?
Black Day in Korea – April 14
In Korean: 블랙데이
Holidays like Valentine’s Day exist to encourage couples to dote on each other and purchase greeting cards. Black Day is on the opposite end of the romantic spectrum – celebrated (so to speak) on April 14th, Black Day is a holiday explicitly for people that are not coupled up. Black Day can be a day of celebration or mourning depending on the person — some people love being single, and some people hate it and can’t wait to jump into their next romantic tryst.
No matter how you feel about being single, Black Day is a day to congregate with your fellow single friends (wearing all black, of course) and eat traditional Korean noodle dishes with a black bean sauce. Chances are that black coffee will be there, too. Black Day is a mixture of drama, melancholy, and humor – there’s something for everybody!
Valentine’s Day in Korea – February 14
In Korean: 발렌타인데이
There’s no escaping this classic holiday – however, in Korea, Valentine’s Day means something a little different than it does in most other countries. If you’re a lady, being in love in Korea on Valentine’s Day means showering the object of your affection with elaborate chocolate treats. It’s thought that there is a direct correlation between the intricacy of the chocolate gifts and the intensity of the emotional attachment of the giver – it’s the perfect time to go over the top with candy and kindness to show the special man in your life how you really feel! Be sure to read up on our Korean Valentines phrases for the occasion.
White Day in Korea – March 14
In Korean: 화이트데이
Noticing a pattern yet? That’s right: Korean love holidays tend to be celebrated on the 14th of the month. This is nice because it means you’re less likely to forget an important one, like White Day.
White Day is the complement to Valentine’s Day – it’s a day on which men can express their feelings to the special women in their lives with elaborate chocolate and candy. If somebody gives you a gift on Valentine’s Day and you have since developed romantic feelings for them, White Day is the perfect day to return the sentiment!
For those with a spouse or a significant other in Korea, make sure you give some kind of candy to your female partner on March 14th. Don’t forget to include a card or note to express how you feel!
Rose Day/Yellow Day in Korea – May 14
In Korean: 로즈데이
May 14th is a day that everybody can celebrate, whether you’re single or romantically committed. Couples exchange fresh roses to express their love, and single Koreans get together to eat yellow curry (and hopefully snag a date!). Yellow is a warm color that hints at the beautiful summer quickly approaching, which makes Yellow Day the perfect time for a new special someone to come into your life. Who knows – maybe it’s someone that will take you by surprise!
Kiss Day in Korea – June 14
In Korean: 키스데이
We all know that roses, chocolates, and curry are only part of what makes being in love in Korea so awesome. Kiss Day, celebrated on June 14th, is a day for celebrating love with kisses and physical affection. Kiss Day would be the perfect opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and show a new romantic partner exactly how much you care. Don’t be shy – everyone will be doing it!
Silver Day in Korea – July 14
In Korean: 실버데이
Silver Day is a day that’s especially fun for couples that are heating up and starting to get a little more serious. These couples can exchange jewelry, especially matching rings made of silver, which make their intentions clear and take the relationship to the next level. Silver Day is also a day on which it’s acceptable to ask friends for small (silver) change to fund romantic outings. Come on – wouldn’t a good friend be excited to fund your potential happiness? Give it a try!
Wine Day in Korea – October 14
In Korean: 와인데이
Wine Day is my personal favorite. No matter how good you are at relationships, chances are that you’ll probably be single at some point – even the best things come to an end eventually. Let’s just hope that your bouts with singledom occur on Wine Day, falling on the 14th of October. The woes of being single pair perfectly with an earthy merlot or a sweet moscato. Grab a bottle, put on a moody record, and celebrate the holiday in style!
Hug Day/Sock Day in Korea – December 14
In Korean: 허그데이
While many of these holidays seem intuitive, December 14th may be a bit of an exception. Hug Day and/or Sock Day is a day when couples are encouraged to spread the love by hugging and expressing affection – or by purchasing socks for their significant other. On the other hand, who doesn’t love a good pair of warm, fuzzy socks, especially in the middle of winter? Good call, Korea.
Korean Love Holiday Wrap Up
Love in Korea is a special phenomenon, and the multitude of holidays for various parts of romantic relationships mean that everybody gets to join in.
Single? No problem. See you on Black Day – I’ll bring the black coffee.
Just meeting somebody and getting to know them? Great! Pick them up a rose on rose day and show them how much you care.
Getting serious about your relationship? Look into getting a silver promise ring on Silver Day, or go straight for a heartfelt kiss on Kiss Day.
There’s no right or wrong way to express love in Korea, and taking part in these holidays is a fun cultural experience that brings people together.
Do you have any funny or touching experiences celebrating a holiday on this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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