Valentine’s Day: A Holiday for Men in Korea

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Candy and chocolates displayed outside a convenience store

Candy and chocolates displayed outside a convenience store

Everywhere I look (grocery stores, convenience stores, subway shops, you name it), I see Valentine’s Day displays: boxes of chocolates, bags of candy, bouquets of flowers, and even cosmetics. These are all gifts that WOMEN are supposed to buy for their MEN. Yes, you read correctly. In Korea, Valentine’s Day is a man’s holiday. Korean women are supposed to buy gifts for their men, bake them treats (I did make Alex some banana nut bread), and take them out to fancy dinners. “Why?” you may ask. Maybe because Korea is a male-dominated society? (But then again, in the U.S., Valentine’s Day seems to be geared more towards men doing something nice for their ladies.) But maybe also because there are two more almost-identical holidays in the next two months: March 14 is White Day (hey, for us nerds it’s Pi day: 3.14…) and April 14 is Black Day. White Day is the woman’s Valentine’s Day and Black Day is for all the singles out there who are sad about not having a special someone. And, from what I hear, these two days are equally commercialized.

Baked goods to give to your man

Baked goods to give to your man

Those of you who are reading are probably wondering two things right now: 1). Wow this blog entry is record setting-ly short! What’s the deal? 2). What are our plans for Valentine’s Day? Well, I have a cat who has decided to kneed his paws on my stomach and then sit down in my lap (as I’m typing) for a nap (I tried to get a picture- didn’t turn up so well). And, we don’t have plans for tonight. We’ve picked a different day for celebrating our Valentine’s Day, to avoid all the hoopla, exorbitant prices and crowded restaurants. Plus, I just may buy a box or two of discounted chocolates… for myself. 🙂

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