Why don't Koreans celebrate Valentine's Day?

Why don't Koreans celebrate Valentine's Day?

I’m pretty sure we all know what Valentine’s is? The day where singles choose to stay at home and couples will spend their day being head over heels with each other. 

Valentine’s day is celebrated on February 14th, in case you didn’t know and it is acknowledged worldwide as a day of love. 

Why don’t Koreans usually celebrate Valentine’s Day? 

It’s because in Korea, on every 14th of each month, it is somehow celebrated as a romantic holiday. There are holidays such as kiss day, silver day, diary day and even 100th day.  

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It’s not that Koreans do not celebrate Valentine’s; they do but the traditions are different from western countries. Koreans have another day called, White day that shares the same purpose but is different in terms of gifting. 

Western countries often celebrate both couples gifting each other on this day but in Korea, the women will buy gifts for the men and on White day the men shall return the favor. 

Valentine’s Day vs White Day

On Valentine's Day Korean girlfriends will give gifts to their boyfriends and the most common gift is chocolate. 

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However, on White day, which is celebrated a month later on March 14th, it is the men’s time to reciprocate the love given by their partners. 

In modern times, women tend to spend a little more on men because on White day they will have to return the favor by spending three times more than what she has given. This indicates that the more she spends, the more she will receive!

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White day is also used as a time when single men will confess their love to their crushes. 

How is White Day in Korea celebrated?

Since it is just exactly a month apart from Valentine’s day, we can say White day is more of an answer day where the men return their love and gifts received on February 14th.

Most men would follow the rule of three which simply means spending three times more on the gifts given to them by their partners on Valentine’s day. 

Therefore, Korean boyfriends would have to think thoroughly about what may be a perfect gift. 

Usually, chocolates won’t be sufficient, they would then add soft toys, flowers, and possibly a handwritten note to please their girlfriends.

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

As it is considered a country-wide celebration in Korea, you may see couples having their dates everywhere! No doubt most Korean couples will spend the day living their K-drama scenes.

Where some would just have a romantic dinner and some drinks.

Not forgetting the photos for memories! South Korea is filled with photo booths where you will see couples lining up for their turn!

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Why is White Day Called White Day?

White day started in Japan about 44 years ago where the Japanese believe the color white symbolizes purity which is associated with the innocence of teen love. 

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Another reason why it is called White day is that in 1977, a confectionary company in Japan marketed marshmallows to men and named it Marshmallow day before substituting them with White day. 

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

Following after, white chocolate has become a gift often bought by men as it was heavily marketed! It is also said that the gifts that were given on this day were all in the color white such as chocolate, marshmallows, and even lingerie.  

What Gifts Could Be Given to Your Partner?

On Valentine’s day, women will be gifting their partner’s chocolate! Since chocolate is an accustomed gift for valentine’s day you may find various bundles or hampers packed with chocolates. Some may even consist of candies.

(Image: Credits to the rightful owner)

But in an interview about White day, most women would prefer not to receive chocolates or anything food-related. They feel a gift should be something they can keep for a longer period. 

Items such as earrings, necklaces, or even bracelets will be an ideal gift for White day!

Ideally, since the culture is much different now there are no specific gifts that are required but some Koreans love to keep it essential. 

We hope this gives you full coverage of the dating life in Korea!

Celebrate the month of love and friendship with our lovely Seoulbox here.

Do let us know what you think of this culture and if you’ve ever experienced it in the comments below. 

Author: Estella

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