Amidst all my dog drama Korea celebrated a holiday last week. November 11 is known as Pepero Day. If you take a look at the date, November 11th, and use the number “11” in lieu of the month’s full name, you’ll notice that you have four “1”’s all in a row. In Korea that’s all you need to create a popular holiday. It’s a spin off of Valentine’s Day from what I can tell, but I think it’s considered more special.
It’s the day of all 1’s so it’s celebrated with Pepero, or as it’s known to me, the chocolate covered cookie stick you eat with coffee. There are several myths about how the holiday began in the mid 1990’s but it’s believed to be a corporate contrived holiday, as many of them are. Lotte is a huge corporation over here, something like a mix between Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and Pepsi Co. They seem to have their name on almost everything from an enormous department store, to a fast food chain, to a bag of chips at 7/11. Lotte is also the largest supplier of pepero. A lot of people deem it a conspiracy theory on behalf of Lotte to capitalize on a signature item created almost solely by them. I think that’s genius.
I was given a box of Pepero by one of my youngest and sweetest little girls, coincidentally named Amy.
You can get all different types of Pepero. This is the most basic. You can have it dipped chocolate or almond flavor and then in nuts, cookie bits, or cocoa powder. You can get it “nude’ where it’s a tube and has chocolate or other flavors in the center. There are many other varieties available as well. It’s kind of a big deal here.
They only started selling baskets and decorations for the holiday the week of. America could learn something from that. Here is a vendor that was set up the outside 7/11.
And here is a close-up of a huge stuffed Pepero for sale. Personally, I think he was worth all 60,000 won on his price tag. Even if he does look like an albino carrot.
Here is a link to a commercial for Pepero Day. Enjoy :) If I knew the translation I would happily post that as well, but I don’t. The only words I understand are Pepero, I love you, and oh, la, la. It’s a little loud and starts automatically so don’t watch it if you are at work.