Pepero Day (빼빼로 데이) is a beloved annual gifting tradition in Korea that is observed on November 11th (11/11). Originated by the maker of Pepero (빼빼로), the Lotte Corporation, Pepero Day is more celebrated by Koreans than Valentine’s Day or White Day since those days are for romantic partners whereas this celebratory day is for everyone. Plus it is very affordable to participate in this unofficial holiday. You just buy Pepero and give it to your friends, significant others, teachers, coworkers or family.
Pepero, a thin cookie stick covered with chocolate, is claimed to be the most popular cookie in Korea since it was introduced in 1983. The original flavor was just a chocolate-covered one. However, now, there are more than 32 flavors including strawberry, almond coated with chocolate, green tea, mint chocolate, and cheddar cheese.
The origin story posits that Pepero Day was born in 1993 at a local girls’ high school in Busan, Korea. Every year since then on November 11th, Pepero was sold so much that someone wondered why and decided to investigate. The story goes that girls from that school in Busan were successful in losing weight and they purchased Pepero and gave it to classmates who wished to lose weight as well on November 11th. Because the date of “11/11” actually looks like the stick-like treat, that particular day became the gift-giving day. Lotte heard this story and with the power of marketing, Pepero Day was born on November 11th, 1997.
Pepero has become very popular globally and the 11/11 unofficial holiday is celebrated worldwide now. Lotte Corp. even put up an ad in Time Squares on October 26th this year to promote Pepero Day 2023. You can easily purchase Pepero at Walmart, Korean/Asian grocery marts, and other local marts. You can also find Pepero online as well if you don’t have Korean/Asian grocers around you or your local markets don’t sell it.
Here are some links where you can buy different varieties of the treat to celebrate Pepero Day 2023 or simply enjoy the goodness of Pepero every day!
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