Valentine's Day in Korea is a day when women give gifts to men. They buy chocolates and other small gifts to give as a sign of affection. The convenience stores set up tables and special displays full of Ferrero Rocher, Twix, and tons of other chocolates. These girls go nuts. At Emart, girls were picking and choosing through tons of different kinds of chocolate for their lovers.
In addition to chocolates, there were also displays of fruit gift boxes, and of course Spam gifts boxes!!! But, these were for the Chinese New Year next week, not Valentine's Day.
While all of the Korean women are going crazy over chocolates for their lovers, the men are waiting, and maybe preparing, for next month.
One month after Valentine's Day, on White Day, it is time for the men to reciprocate and give gifts to the women. This day is called White Day because the gifts used to be all white chocolates and lingerie. Now, they stray a little from those gifts, but they still make sure to get something! Apparently there is a sort of unspoken rule, The Rule of Threes, that says the men have to spend 3 times as much on the White Day gift as the woman spent on his Valentine's Day gift. I'm not sure if people really follow that rule, but I read about it!!
So anyway. The girls get the guys stuff, the guys get the girls stuff a month later, and if a guy buys a gift for the same girl that bought him a gift the month before, it's happy ever after for them.
A month after White Day, on April 14th, is Black Day. A kind of depressing, but hilarious holiday for ALL THE SINGLE LADIES and men, but they weren't in the song. Apparently, on this day, single people get together and eat jajangmyeon, which are black noodles. Maybe they all get together in hopes that they will meet another desperately single person and fall madly in love? I'm not really sure. It sounds like an awesome holiday though; wallowing in self pity with a bunch of other losers!! ;) kidding. Sort of.
After that, there's a bunch more love days, but those aren't widely celebrated or advertised. Diary Day, Rose Day, Kiss Day, Silver Day, Green Day (lol), Photo Day, Wine Day, Movie Day, and Hug Day.
Koreans are super into coupley things. You can spot a Korean couple from a mile away; not because of PDA or anything, but because of the matchy-matchy!
In Korea, public displays of affection are kind of taboo. You rarely see couples holding hands, and I've NEVER seen anyone kissing! The way couples display their affection for one another is by wearing matching clothes. This ranges from wearing the same hat, to wearing the same colors or patterns, to matching your entire outfit; hat to shoes!! It is so common to see a young couple wearing the same shoes, pants, shirt, and hat. I have also seen lots of older couples wearing the same coats! Matchy-matchy is huge here. They say it's a way to connect with your significant other; something they share just the two of them. This video explains, and shows, matchy-matchy perfectly. It's 6 minutes, but it's worth the watch! It's funny to see just how many couples are matching. And yes, you really would see that many matchy-matchy couples in a day!
I got a bit sidetracked there, sorry. Let's get back to Valentine's Day. Let me tell you about mine.
I woke up, snuggled with all three of my favorites: Rooney, Drew, and Hoosier (in order from most favorite to least favorite hahaha) Then, Drew agreed to go explore the 4/9 Market with me! This is a market that happens on all days that end in a 4 or a 9. Since today was February 14th, it was open! I planned to get some fruit, eggs and meat scraps for the dogs, but prices were way higher than I expected, so we just walked around and took lots of pictures. Oh, we also bought one single apple from an old woman who would not let us leave without it.
Here are some of the awesome/interesting things we saw.
My Valentine's Day ended with dinner at Meat Restaurant, a buffet full of Korean foods. Because, nothing says Love like a never ending supply of food. (There was a much more inappropriate and hilarious line I was going to use to end this, but my mom reads this. As do my grandparents. Yikes.) I hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day back home. Love and miss you all. See you soon!