Celebrating Love in South Korea

A couple links arms in front of a background of green trees

Like in the United States, South Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. But one romance-centric holiday wasn’t enough. South Koreans, especially the younger generations, mark the 14th of each month as a special day revolving around the abundanceor lackof love.

The year kicks off with Diary Day in January. To celebrate, friends and sweethearts give each other blank diaries to keep track of the important dates and anniversaries throughout the year.

On Valentine’s Day only women give their partners presents. Then on March 14th, known as White Day, men return the favor and give their partner a giftfittingly in a shade of white.

There’s even a day for singles known as Black Day: April 14th. In keeping with the depressing moniker, singles wear black and are encouraged to eat a black bean noodle dish called “jjajangmyeon” in hopes they will meet another person ordering the same meal. Some people have reclaimed Black Day as a time to celebrate the freedom of being unattached.

Three other holidays revolve around colors.

  • May 14th is Yellow Day, a time when couples are encouraged to wear yellow.
  • July 14th is Silver Day, when people exchange silver rings as a sign of moving a relationship forward.
  • August 14th is Green Day, set aside for people to take nature walks while enjoying soju, rice alcohol sold in a green bottle.

June 14th is Kiss Day. While the purpose of this day is self-explanatory, it’s also an opportunity for the unattached to reveal romantic feelings to a crush.

In September, South Koreans celebrate Music and Photo Day by doing karaoke or booking a photoshoot.

Both singles and people in relationships mark Wine Day on October 14th. The holiday is a chance to slow down in a fast-moving society and enjoy a glass of wine over a meal.

November 14th is Movie Day. Couples book “DVD bangs,” which are small movie rooms, to watch romantic films.

The last romantic holiday of the year is Hug Day, a time for South Koreans to embrace loved ones as the year wraps up.