We’ve all seen them; the couples dressed alike from matching shirts down to their matching polka dot shoes. And, yes, the underwear is probably matching too. Young Koreans love to celebrate couple-hood. From couple rings to couple clothes and even celebrating Christmas as a couple’s holiday rather than a family holiday, there’s one thing or another around almost every corner devoted to celebrating the all-important couple. While the matching shirts might be obvious enough, there is actually an unofficial holiday on the 14 of every month, either for the couple, or the lonesome single, that many probably haven’t heard about. Mark those calendars and get ready to celebrate the year in true Korean couple fashion.
January 14: Diary Day
To get the year started off right, head to the stationary store and buy the cutest little diary/yearly planner you can find. In the planner, couples mark their birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates and plans for the year. Guys, yes: most likely a girl thought this one up. And let’s be honest; isn’t it helpful to have all of those special dates written down so there’s no forgetting them and then having to endure all that subsequent pouting and arguing? Get that yearly planner now!
February 14: Valentine’s Day
This is pretty obvious, isn’t it? This was of course the original “14th day” holiday from which all others have sprung. There is one important difference between a Western and Korean Valentine’s. On Valentine’s Day in Korea, the man can sit back and relax as the woman in the partnership stocks up on chocolates and other romantic delicacies and showers her partner with affection. To be a smart and cost-efficient couple though, maybe decide to celebrate this holiday just a couple of days later after all of the chocolates and other cutesy knick-knacks have gone on sale.
March 14: White Day
Not to worry ladies. While Valentine’s Day was all about the man, now it’s time for the ladies to get in on all that action. White Day is the time for that special guy to step up and show his affection. Rather than chocolate being the gift of choice though, candy, jewelry and of course flowers make for that big gesture.
April 14: Black Day
While all of those couples have been rejoicing in their love the past few months, it’s no wonder everyone else not in a relationship has become pretty moody, even with the arrival of spring. So roll on Black Day: the day for singles around the country to head to their local Chinese eatery and order some jjajangmyeon, or black noodles. Single friends may even have dressed the part, by wearing black attire from head to toe (including black nails) to meet up and eat out, all the while consoling each other – or rejoicing – in their independence.
May 14: Yellow Day/Rose Day
This holiday is two-fold. First, couples gather their brightest, cheeriest yellow clothes, (most likely matching) and wear them out for all to see. While they’re out, they will also swap roses – because dressing alike wasn’t quite enough to make the day special. Those still mourning (or rejoicing) in their single lifestyle can once again head to a local eatery, but this time order some yellow curry to “spice up” their life. Yes, it seems that if you are single, eating is what the unofficial holiday calendar calls for at almost all times.
June 14: Kiss Day
While some say this holiday is for couples to kiss each other, others now purport that this holiday is for everyone to kiss anyone and everyone they meet that day. Just imagine the kissing mayhem in Myeongdong on June 14! Lipstick, breath mint, gum and other lip-centered brands tend to offer special promotions around this time to get those smackers in kissing-shape. So whether kissing that special person or just any ‘ole Joe or Jane spotted while out and about, get those lips puckered up and ready!
July 14: Silver Day
A couple that stays together shops together and when they shop together, silver accessories (of the couple ring sort) will need to be purchased and placed on the finger to show all who walk by that a couple is near (and dear). If single – though it isn’t said to be common – why not just buy yourself a special silver accessory? Or, there’s always eating something that is metallic looking – since eating is usually what the lone wolf is required to do on these holidays, right?
August 14: Green Day
Yet another holiday that can go either way. While some couples meet up and take a nice romantic walk outside enjoying nature and relaxing, others have decided green can also stand for the color of that ubiquitous soju bottle. Hanging out in groups of singles and getting plastered on that harsh alcohol or trying to drink it romantically with your partner, the companies that produce soju have somehow managed to make this day all about that colorless yet intoxicating beverage.
September 14: Photo Day
As if taking a photo with a lover wasn’t common enough on any other average day of the year, September 14 is celebrated by the quirky and gimmicky photo booths around the country as couples everywhere head to their nearby photo booth shack or portrait studio to get some official pictures. Whether it be silly hats and wigs in a photo booth or all dressed up in a legit portrait studio, couples want to get their photo taken and, of course, share it with all on social media.
October 14: Wine Day
Wine companies apparently weren’t happy that the soju companies had taken over an entire day on the calendar when they have enough attention as it is. So October 14 is for all of those (age appropriate, of course) couples to grab a bottle from their favorite vineyard and drink it with each other, while possibly watching some remake of a classy chick flick.
November 14: Movie Day
November 14 is NOT the day to head to a nearby movie theater unless “fun” is purposefully sitting in an odd numbered seat to prevent couples from sitting together. Inevitably, an unattached individual will have an empty seat next to them as everyone else in the audience will want to sit with their partner on Movie Day. Nearby private movie rooms will also be packed, so plan on getting your movie fix another day unless you want to celebrate with the rest of the happy couples around the country.
December 14: Hug Day
Come December, the things to celebrate are few and far between so couples give each other hugs to keep those cold chills away. If it’s anything like Kiss Day, well, then singles might jump on the bandwagon and claim it for themselves as they hug anyone around. Either way, look for a hug from that special someone or just from an old friend.