Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Red, White & Black Days of Korea

Koreans love love.  They love being in love and wearing matching outfits, straight down to matching undies. They love having clothes, and notebooks, and pencil boxes designed in love themes. And they love celebrating love which is evident in their ridiculous amount of holidays created purely in the sake of love.

While everyone is familiar with Valentine’s Day being February 14, Korea has a different take on it. V-Day is also known as Red Day.  This is the day when a woman is expected to give chocolates and gifts to the man in her life.  Simple enough

Next we have March 14 which is known as White Day.  This is where men return the favor and give gifts to their favorite lady, three-fold to what they were given for Red Day.  (Smart little woman who came up with that idea!)  While I am aware there is a similar, yet completely contradictory, grassroots tradition in America, I am intentionally leaving it out of this conversation.

And finally, we have Black Day.

Black Day

Straight out of text book, boy and girls.  For the poor saps that didn’t receive anything for Red or White Day, April 14 becomes Black Day.  (I realize the text says March but everywhere else, including Koreans, tell me it’s April.  Typographical error.) As an almost thirty-something who rather enjoys being single at this point in her life I have to say that I laugh at the drama of this.  “Single people wear dark clothing…in the company of others who are also looking for love.  With any luck, single people could meet someone special with whom to share Red and White Day the next year.”  Call me cynical or bitter or whatever you want, but really… Barf.

It’s a tragedy to be of age and single in Korea. In many ways, they are still stuck back in the 1950s.   

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