As I write this, most of the world has finished celebrating Valentine’s day. However, South Korea does things a little differently than how most countries do things. Koreans have Valentine’s Day, White Day and Black Day. What are the differences between the 3 days? Let’s take a brief look at each of them.
Valentine’s Day in Korea is a day where women present gifts to the man that they love. As some put it, it can sometimes be all about men. This is of course different from how the day is spent in other countries where both men and women buy each other things. But why is it that only women buy things for men on Valentine’s Day?
White Day comes a month later on March 14th. White day is when men buy things for the special woman in their life. It is kinda of a thank you for the gifts that were received on Valentine’s Day. It also insures that if couples celebrate the Korean way, each person will have a special day for themselves, not a shared day. While this is special, what in the world is Black Day?
Black Day comes one month after White day, on April 14th. Black day is a day for people who did not get anything on Valentine’s day or White day. Single people will sometimes go out wearing all black and will eat 자장면. (Jajangmyeon) This dish is noodles that are topped with sauce that is made with black soybean paste. While the day can be sad for some, it is a day where others are hopeful to find someone special to share this meal with. Others will go on speed dating in hopes to find someone to celebrate Valentine’s and White Day with the following year. So for many, the day is not as negative as it may seem to be on the surface.
While White Day and Black Day have become Korean traditions, I have not noticed that this has become a Korean American tradition. It could depend on where person is in the U.S. and how big the Korean population is in their area if these days are celebrated or not. I have heard of sexy Asian singles events as a way for Asian Americans to meet each other, but this normally happens on Valentine’s Day. It also can be more about having lust than about finding love. But in either case, you don’t have to fear that White Day or Black Day are some kind of racist holidays. They both point to The Republic of Korea as being a place where love, and/or the quest for love springs eternal.