Happy Valentine’s Day!
Are you feeling love in the air? Have you received your special chocolate box from a loved one? How about a pretty shiny mylar balloon? A dozen of your favorite flowers? Well, this is the weekend flower shops and confectionary companies are raking in the dough.
When I was a little kid, my father used to bring me a mylar balloon every Valentine’s Day. It was a family tradition that stayed with me until I left for college. But did you know that the Asians celebrate extra love-filled holidays in addition to Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day, aka Red Day (February 14)
Let’s begin with Valentine’s Day. Did you know that in other cultures, such as Japan and Korea, women hand out chocolates to their beloved guys? For a strong patriarchal, hierarchal culture, you’d think that would not be the case. But here we are in the 21st century and that’s how they do things in East Asia (except in Taiwan).
You can check out the CNN article that gives you the 411.
White Day (March 14)
How do the Japanese and Koreans respond to all this estrogen-filled love? They like to switch things up the following month. Japanese men hand out chocolates back to their beloved ladies, while Korean men hand out hard candies to their leading ladies. Our Korean friends over a potluck dinner confirmed this. They shared that it’s a recent phenomenon that our parents’ generation didn’t have.
Upon further research, according to Japan.com, a marshmallow company started White Day to keep the gift giving going. I guess it’s still an industry driven holiday.
Black Day (April 14)
And for all the single people, they can celebrate Black Day in Korea. Of course, I can imagine all the Korean dramas emphasizing this holiday and eating jajangmyun made with black bean paste.
Kiss Day (June 14)
And if you happen to find love in Korea, you can celebrate Kiss Day in June – another 14th holiday. (Are you noticing a theme here?) I can tell you that Korea has changed a lot. In 2000, it was taboo to show public displays of affection (PDA). Now they have holidays that celebrate PDA? It’s definitely a different Korea now.
If you are into Korean or Japanese culture, maybe you’d like to add one of these love-filled holidays to your family tradition.
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day?
From my hometown to yours,