On the Fourteenth Day of Every Month, My True Love Gave to Me…
On February 14th, millions of couples around the world will be gearing up to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This day of love, despite it being partly for the gain of chocolate companies and the disdain of single friends, is a time for love birds to express their feelings and appreciation towards their significant others. However, in South Korea, one day of romance isn’t nearly enough. Rather than going all out in February, Korean tradition calls for spreading the love throughout the entire year by having the 14th of each month dedicated to a different display of admiration. If your partner is constantly saying you need to mix up the romance, this might be the perfect tradition to adopt.
February 14th – Valentine’s Day: Although the name is the same, Valentine’s Day in Korea has a completely different set of expectations. In the U.S., for example, men are scrambling to make plans that will be better than last year’s “candlelit dinner fiasco”. In Korea, however, the responsibility on this day falls solely on the women. They are expected to buy chocolates for their beau and get nothing in return…yet.
March 14th – White Day: Now that the girls have set the tone, March is the time for the boys to return the favor. White Day holds the expectation for the men to get their sweethearts a gift of some sort to return the gesture. Tradition holds that the gift (whether it be candy, roses, jewelry, etc.) is a white color, but what really matters is that the gift is worth significantly more than a box of chocolates.
April 14th – Black Day: You might be wondering what single Koreans are doing during all this romance. Don’t worry, they aren’t forgotten. As history holds, Black Day is a day for single people to get together and eat a heaping bowl of black noodles known as ‘jjajangmyun’ as a sign of mourning. If this sounds like a depressing concept, it is, and many lone wolves have rejected this notion to use Black Day as a celebration of independence.
May 14th – Yellow Day: Whoever came up with this one seems like they started to run out of ideas. People wear yellow throughout the day, in a sort of St. Patty’s Day fashion, and couples exchange roses upon seeing each other. Nothing too crazy on this day, but a nice gesture to keep the love going at least.
June 14th – Kiss Day: This one is pretty self-explanatory so we’ll leave that part up to your discretion. But it is also on this 14th that people in South Korea are encouraged to confess their true feelings to their crush in hopes of starting a new relationship. This is the holiday equivalent of passing the “Do you like me? Check yes or no” note.
July 14th – Silver Day: Things start to get a little more serious towards the middle of the year. On this day, couples have the opportunity to make the next step in their relationship by discussing what their future holds. This can be signified through silver promise rings or the introduction to each other’s parents. Let’s just say there are probably a lot of awkward conversations held on this day.
August 14th – Green Day: No, not the punk rock band. Green Day is a day of fun and celebration as couples drink soju and take romantic walks in the park. Mostly popular among young couples, this day is also used as the perfect excuse to rekindle the flame for relationships that need a little spicing up.
September 14th – Photo/Music Day: As if couples needed an excuse to take pictures or listen to music with each other, the August day of love makes this concept even more mainstream. Couples listen to the songs they fell in love to or take pictures at the place they had their first date to reminisce about the good times they’ve shared.
October 14th – Wine Day: Single or in a relationship, everyone loves this day. The perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your S.O. or get rowdy with your other singleton friends, everyone's a winner when wine is involved. That is until the 15th rolls around.
November 14th – Movie Day: Who doesn’t love a classic movie date? In Korea, a popular hangout is a DVD 쾅 (bah-ng), or movie room, where groups of people can rent out small theaters to play rented films. Great idea for double or triple dates, but I would recommend not inviting your single friends unless you want them to loathe your relationship.
December 14th – Hug Day: Regardless of who you are – young or old, big or small, single or taken – we could all use a nice hug once in a while. And what better way to wrap up the year than by wrapping your arms around those you love.
January 14th – Diary Day: After the previous year, which gave so many ways to show our love to those we care about, ends, many South Koreans want to ensure that the New Year will provide the same. Couple and friends gift each other with diaries that have specific dates throughout the year blocked off to guarantee that more memories will be made together in the future.
Although these holidays are not all widely observed, and some believe they are just consumerist scams, they are still fun and unique ways to show your love year-round. We want to tip our hats to this Korean tradition of not excluding themselves to one day of love.
But, for those of you who are still planning on going all out only on Valentine’s Day, be sure to get your S.O. a bottle of KPOP Sauce to really spice up your relationship!