How do Korean Couples Celebrate Pepero Day?

How do Korean Couples Celebrate Pepero Day?

KOREAN COUPLES AT PEPERO DAY

South Korea has many unique holidays. Today, we’re going to look at Pepero Day and how couples celebrate it. Shall we begin?

What is Pepero?

Pepero (빼빼로) is a thin cookie or pretzel stick dipped in chocolate made by Lotte Confectionery Corporation since 1983. It comes in over thirty different flavors, including chocolate (the original),

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Almond,

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Strawberry,

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Nude (plain outside, chocolate inside),

Honey Butter Almond,

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And Jeju Tangerine.

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You can also get a thinner version of Pepero called Pepero Skinny.

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And this past year, we got the brand-new Pepero Ice Cream Bar!

How Did Pepero Day Start?

Pepero Day (November 11) celebrates friendship, love, and the people you’re closest to. It’s Korea’s version of Valentine’s Day! But its origins are a bit of a mystery. Some people say that the sticks look like the date (11/11).

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However, there’s another story about where Pepero Day came from. Two female students from a middle school in Yeongnam wanted to be tall and thin, so they exchanged Pepero sticks and made a wish. (This is why people eat Pepero at 11:11:11 am and pm.) Lotte heard about the story and launched its first Pepero Day in 1997.

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Have Some Garaetteok

Not everyone likes Pepero Day. Why? Some people call it a cash cow, promoting unhealthy food. (Lotte makes about 60% of its yearly sales in Pepero Day promotions.)

 

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Instead, they celebrate Farmers’ Day/Garaetteok Day, also on November 11. Here, they exchange cylinder-shaped rice cakes (garaetteok; 가래떡) made by local businesses. They also attend events to show their support for the farmers.

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Gifts and Traditions

Now that you know a little about Pepero, here’s how to celebrate it!

Usually, you give that special someone their favorite flavor (or flavors) of Pepero. You can write a message to them on the back of the box itself.

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Some people confess their love when giving the Pepero. If the other person accepts, then the two will eat Pepero together. If not, then the lovebird eats by his- or herself.

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But what if you don’t want to buy Pepero? Well, you can make your own sticks! (Here’s an easy recipe.)

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You can also make Pepero-themed cookies or cakes. It’s a unique way to show your affection – and it looks cute!

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Some people roll up money and give them instead of Pepero sticks. That might be going a little overboard for Seoulmates!

The Pepero Game

Finally, we have the infamous Pepero game. It’s simple: put one end of a Pepero stick in your mouth. Have someone else take the other end in their mouth and start biting away. The goal is to have only a bit of the stick (about 2 cm) left – without kissing!

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The Pepero game is played by idols outside of Pepero Day during fan meets and concerts. And there’ve been some spicy moments!

VIXX has played it countless times, especially Ravi and Hyuk.

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EXO’s Sehun and Lay played the Pepero game at the China Big Love Concert – though they seemed to forget the point of the game!

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“We Got Married!” featured the Pepero game, but with breadsticks. Super Junior’s Henry and Jewelry’s Yewon went first…

Followed by f(x)’s Amber and VIXX’s N.

F.T. Island’s Hongki and Rainbow’s Yoonhye played the shortest Pepero game ever recorded. (at about 2:31)

 

And TWICE’s Jeongyeon and Tzuyu did the Pepero kiss in the group’s parody of “Descendants of the Sun.”

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But you don’t have to play the Pepero game unless you and the other person are comfortable. You don’t want to be too embarrassed if a kiss happens!

What do you think of this holiday? What’s your favorite Pepero flavor? Let us know. And have a happy Pepero Day!

Author: SUJI SOHN

About the author: Suji was studying in London in the year 2019 and, although being separated from her family, her passion for Korea was growing. She noticed that a lot of her close friends loved Korean culture, food, music, and dramas and gradually started to fall in love with Korea, but there weren't many opportunities to actually "experience" this wonderful nation!

Suji was aware of what she needed to do to introduce Korea to her friends' lives and, conceivably, to those of everyone else who was curious about a piece of Daehan Min-guk.

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