What a depressing title.
Disclosure: I am not bitter.
No one loves taking adorable selfies and rocking matching outfits more than young Korean couples. It isn’t uncommon to see them sporting the same shoes or sweatshirts as they stroll around Seoul.
This intense “couple culture” has become so prominent that the youth of Korea has officially claimed the 14th of every month as a “couple holiday.” If you’re single in Korea and you’re dreading the pink boxes and heart balloons leading up to February 14th, don’t worry. You’ll have something to dread for every preceding and following month as well!
Although, I guess they didn’t want to be total jerks since some of these holidays are dedicated, or partially dedicated, to those of us who are “forever-alone.”
January 14th Diary or Candle Day
New year, new diary. To start the year off with a fresh start, couples exchange blank diaries or planners with their partners. They’re often used to record romantic experiences and accounts with their infatuated counterparts. If transcribing your dates isn’t quite your thing, January 14th can also be an excuse to get your loved one an adorned candle. Because, just like your relationship, it will burn out and die.
Or am I?
February 14th Valentine’s Day
You’d think I could skip over this one, huh? It must be the same as in the states, right? No. Valentine’s Day seems all fine and standard in South Korea, but there is one very distinct difference. Stores are still of course filled with red foil wrapped chocolates and singing teddy bears, but the only ones purchasing these festive products are women. Yeah, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by the female in the relationship giving a gift. So, if you’re a total dick, you can break up with your girl on February 15th. Then you’re off the hook for the men’s equivalent next month. Stay tuned.
March 14th White Day
Girls, if you’re celebrating this one, congratulations! You’ve made it! White Day is celebrated by the male in the relationship giving a gift. The holidays could be ordered in this manner to give men more time to prepare an even nicer gift for their girlfriends. If she got you candy, you get her candy, jewelry, and flowers. If she got you a watch, you get her a necklace, a laptop, and a pony. The name of the holiday comes from the notion that men should purchase these gifts in the color white.
April 14th Black Day
I got to celebrate this one! It is the one 14th that us singles can salvage. It is called “Black Day” because singles customarily eat black bean noodles, called jjajangmyun, to “mourn” their lack of a love interest. Depressing to say the least. South Korea has such an extremely couple driven culture that if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, you should be sad and do everything in your power to get one.
However, it’s nice to see young Koreans reclaiming this holiday to celebrate their independence and perhaps the idea that being alone is a perfectly valid choice.
May 14th Rose Day or Yellow Day
Making our way back to couples, May is dedicated to all things yellow. Couples will don yellow outfits and exchange yellow roses to celebrate the peak of Spring. Also, if your single self is still hungry after all those black bean noodles, you can eat some yellow curry and pray your love life spices up next month. I am not joking.
June 14th Kiss Day
You guessed it, a day dedicated to kissing. Not only is it a day to express your established love for your partner, but it can also be used as a day to confess feelings you might have for someone. Stock up on those well-advertised lip products and breath mints before making any dramatic proclamations. If you get shot down, don’t worry. Black Day is only 10 months away.
July 14th Silver Day
If your bae isn’t the affectionate type to celebrate Kiss Day, this might be the better month to show your devotion… with jewelry. On a day filled with the exchanging of silver rings and other accessories, couples can discuss their future plans. Is it time to meet their parents? Is it time to get married? Is it time to steal their hoodie and never look back? I’m just spitballing here.
August 14th Green Day
Did you choose to run? Good choice, but just don’t run into the forest because by the time August rolls around, you’ll be surrounded by the very couples you were sprinting from. This holiday combines two themes: drinking and nature. Couples spend their August 14th’s surrounded by forest greenery while drinking soju. This popular rice alcohol is produced in a green bottle, hence the affiliation with this special day. To be honest, this just sounds like a Saturday for me and my friends, but that’s just us…
September 14th Photo Day or Music Day
Just how drinking in a park seems normal to me, this day should feel fairly normal to Korean couples. When are they not taking pictures? However, on Photo Day, couples step up their game by getting professional photos taken or spending hours in photo booths. After their shoots are complete, Music Day can be commenced by renting out a noraebang (karaoke room) to serenade each other with every Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith song they know.
October 14th Wine Day
The sophisticated version of Green Day comes in October. Instead of drinking $3 soju in a forest, you’re enjoying glasses of wine in a romantic restaurant. Personally, I would just celebrate Green Day again… same general concept, probably way more fun.
November 14th Movie Day
By November, the temperature in Korea has officially dropped and outdoor activities have been put on hold. For this month, Koreans flock to their local movie theaters to catch the most recent release with their love interests. Couples can also celebrate by renting a movie and snuggle up at home or visit a DVD Room. I understand that this day is a big deal, but I just want to watch Moana without being looked at like I’m lost. I’m here, I’m single, and I’m ruining your night because I’ve disrupted a row of even seats.
December 14th Hug Day
By now, they’re just grasping at straws. A day devoted to giving your boyfriend or girlfriend a warm hug. The romance of the holidays is here and you and your loved one can embrace each other while sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow. Little do you know, us singles are creating our New Year’s Resolutions. Number 1 on the list? Reclaim every 14th of the year as Black Day. Just you wait.
Who knows, maybe this time next year I’ll be amping up to celebrate each of these. Until then, comment which of these couple holidays is your favorite. Should we be celebrating any of these in the states?