Valentine's Day is a couple's holiday known the world over. It comes and goes every February 14th, leaving mixed feelings in everyone's heart.
Couples want another cute holiday to celebrate and singles wonder, "Hey! Where's my holiday?"
Well in Korea, a special holiday is celebrated on the 14th of each month (and some on other days) that everyone can enjoy.
So let's check them out and see which ones are coming up soon!
At the beginning of the year, Korean couples will send a one-year diary to each other. In it, they will mark birthdays, anniversaries, and other major holidays in it.
They can also use it to write down special dates or trips that they've taken or will take together, thus keeping a continuous record of their year together that they can look back on.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is not well known.
The Catholic priest named St. Valentine (Valentinus) in the 3rd century was executed because he violated the emperor’s order and privately officiated the marriage of young people.
In order to commemorate his dedication to the love of others, a holiday was chosen to be created on February 14th, the date of his death, that celebrated his commitment to love.
Now, the whole world knows and celebrates this unique holiday.
The typical gift is of course chocolate or flowers, but there are a plethora of other gifts that you can give to your partner unique to them. In Korea, it's typical for the woman to give gifts on Valentine's Day and the men to return the favor on the next holiday...
White Day, which is only found in Eastern countries, is generally believed to be for men to send gifts to women they like.
Koreans of the past believed that White Day was to show affirmation of the man accepting a woman's confession of love. But presently, it has basically become a day for couples to show off once more.
This is a pretty popular holiday because it's one of the few designated for single people.
On this day, single people should eat black food (typically Jjajangmyeon). It's a nice, warm dish to comfort people in such lonely times.
YELLOW & ROSE DAY
When Spring comes and flowers bloom, a good way to join in with the scenery and stand out is to wear yellow clothes. This can help singles get the attention of others, like a bird with bright plumage.
Furthermore, May is when roses bloom in Korea, so it's a good time for couples to see the flowers or buy some for each other.
For lovers who have a smooth May Rose Day, it's natural to kiss and celebrate their relationship.
So in June, there is Kiss Day, when couples go to a place with a unique atmosphere and share a kiss, often captured on camera and shared on instagram.
Silver day is for exchanging silver between passionate couples.
This is only for when the relationship is more serious, obviously, and the gifts to be exchanged can range from rings to necklaces to whatever other jewelry you deem necessary.
It is a sign that the relationship is ready to progress to the next level!
In the heat of the Summer, leaves are green and flowers are in full bloom. So it's a great time for couples to do something outdoors, like visit a park or hike a mountain.
There are many forests and mountains in and around Seoul to choose from, or taking a short train ride outside the city is great too.
Single people can also go out and enjoy nature...with a nice green bottle of soju.
MUSIC DAY & PHOTO DAY
For those who like that scene, September is a great time to head out to the nightclubs.
Couples can go together and enjoy the kind of music that they like (there are clubs for many music styles, including EDM, Hip Hop, classic Korean songs from the 90's, etc.).
Singles can also go out and meet new people, possibly shedding that moniker of being "single."
It's also a great time to take photos together as a couple because the weather is always really clear and sunny, the foliage is still green and pleasant, and the temperature is just right.
Couples can take their best photos together and share them for everyone to see.
WINE DAY (RED DAY)
For this day, couples share a glass of wine together as a romantic date. You can head out to a fancy restaurant, a wine bar, or light some candles in your own home.
It could be just the right atmosphere to start discussing the future for your relationship.
The number "24," using some mathematical gymnastics, can lead to the Korean word for apple, which is the same word for apology.
So on this day, people who have some misunderstanding or argument in the past can try to fix the issue and repair their issues.
Pepero is a very popular snack in Korea that consists of a long, thin wafer stick dipped in chocolate.
So on the date of 11/11, which is just 4 long sticks, couples can exchange the candy with each other or friends can do the same.
When you give pepero to someone, you are wishing them a long life where they can be thin and healthy.
Movie theaters can be packed on this day because everyone rushes to buy a movie ticket! But there are other options as well, including watching movies in your house or going to a DVD room.
This doesn't only have to be a couples holiday as watching movies can be an activity for a group of friends as well.
Just be careful in the DVD room. Some might not be of the highest quality and some might be a little dirty.
Also, many couples will rush to rent the good movies, so you might get stuck watching a cheesy, low-budget film.
Rounding out the holidays on the 14th of every month is the final month of the year, during which we celebrate Hug Day.
Nothing fancy here. It's just a day for couples to hug at every opportunity. Winter is cold, so warm each other up with a loving hug (who says friends can't hug as well?)
No list of couples holidays would be complete without a special mention for Christmas.
Yes, it's a holiday for everyone and for the whole family, but it is also a holiday where couples go absolutely all out for each other.
They splurge on incredible gifts and expensive dates. And who can blame them? 'Tis the season!
Based on this list, you can guess that it's hard to be single in Korea.
With all these commercialized holidays meant to sell cheesy products, sure it can seem like Korea is just trying to bombard you with the fact that you're single and other people aren't.
But you can also use it as motivation to get out there and meet someone special. You never know what might happen.