In America, Valentine’s Day means roses and a box of chocolates for our significant other. It is arguably the most romantic national holiday for us. Apparently, for many Asian countries, a single day to show love isn’t enough.
In Japan, Korea and China, Valentine’s day is celebrated quite differently. This holiday is an opportunity for women to present men with chocolate as an expression of love. Men do not give women anything in return until a month later. On March 14th, otherwise known as White day, men reply to the women who gave them gifts to indicate whether or not they feel the same.
As it turns out, White Day is not the only holiday we’re missing out on. A month after White Day, on April 14th, Korea celebrates yet another interesting holiday: Black Day.
As you may have guessed, Black Day is practically the opposite of the two romantic holidays. This is a day is for those who did not receive gifts on Valentine’s Day or White Day. Yup, this unofficial holiday is for single people.
To celebrate this day, people wear black and eat black-colored food. Specifically, people indulge in jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with a thick sauce made of chunjang (soybean paste), diced pork and vegetables. As sad as this holiday may seem, people have put in quite a bit of effort to make this holiday fun such as jajangmyeon-eating competitions.
Want to celebrate this holiday? Check out how to cook jajangmyeon for yourself!
This story was originally published in April 2014 and has been republished in honor of Black Day.