Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day in Korean kicks off a trilogy of consumer love holidays. Now given the recent tragedy, the national sense of mourning, and the hyperbole abuse in the national media I don't know how much attention Valentine will get this year so if you've haven't experienced it in Korea you can easily use Pepero Day as a basis. It's commercially driven but without the corporate monopoly.

February 14th has a Sadie Hawkins twist where it's the women who give chocolate and other presents to the men in their lives (co-workers included). The sequel, one month later on March 14th, is White Day. There, men buy expressions of love and affection for their women, in theory returning the chocolate favors with white chocolate. And then there's the reject day on April 14th, reserved for everybody who didn't hook up to commiserate their patheticness over a bowl of 짜장면 (aka Jjajangmyeon), long noodles in a soybean sauce. Despite oozing with irony the name Black Day actually refers to the black sauce in 짜장면 instead of a westerners perception of despair. Fortunately you don't have to be single to enjoy 짜장면; it's available year round.

Valentine chocolates on the other hand are apparently becoming an endangered commodity:

The stock market plunge and concern on inflation seems to be inducing lovers to cut expenditure on Valentine's Day gifts. Imports of expensive chocolates, an icon of Valentine's Day presents for loved ones here, have decreased, substituted for by cheap candies, the Korea Customs Service said Wednesday.

1 comment:

trixyone said...

Mmmm...we call the noodles the exact same thing in Mandarin! Yum!!