Korean Valentine’s Day Traditions + All 12 Korean Romantic Holidays

Valentine’s Day is celebrated a little differently all around the world and Korea is no exception. Valentine’s Day is a big deal in Korea but it’s very different than what you might experience in the Western world. In fact, lovers in Korea have 12 opportunities each year to celebrate and express their feelings.

Korean Valentine’s Day is a One Way Street

Korean Valentine’s Day is on February 14, but this day is reserved for the woman to give chocolates and gifts to her man or her crush, not the other way around. Korean men can express their love by giving candies and gifts to their women or crushes on White Day, March 14th.

12 Days of Love

America’s only romance holiday is Valentine’s Day so we have to make this day very special to our significant others. But Koreans celebrate romantic holidays every 14th of the month. Valentine’s Day and White Day are the most popular and the most celebrated love holidays but there are ten other days that are devoted to love.

Here are all 12 Love Holidays in Korea:

January 14th is Diary Day. On this day, a couple gives each other a diary as a gift and they each write down their feelings, sentiments, yearly goals, resolutions, their anniversaries and anything else in the diary.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day and a woman gives chocolate and a gift to her partner. This is also an opportunity for a girl to express her love to her crush.

March 14th is White Day for Korea and this is the day a man gives candies and gifts to the special person in his life. This day is also an opportunity for guys to confess their love to their crush.

April 14th is Black Day for Korean singles and broken hearts. On this day, single Korean people meet each other wearing black clothes and eat jajangmyeon, black noodles.

May 14th is Yellow Day. Korean young couples put on matching outfits and exchange bouquets of yellow roses. Also, single people can celebrate this day by eating Korean-style yellow curry.

June 14th is Kiss Day. Couples display their affection for each other by kissing on this day. Obviously, it is not the only day they kiss. But on the 14th of June they do it in public freely, without being frowned upon, since Public Displays of Affection (or PDA:) are not the norm in Korean culture.

July 14th is Silver Day. Korean young couples exchange rings to show how devoted they are to each other. These rings are called “couple rings” and is different from engagement and wedding rings. Couple Rings signify their commitment to each other.

August 14th is Green Day. This day is where couples hang out in beautiful nature to celebrate their relationship on this day. The drink of this day is Soju because of its green bottle. Singles can console their singleness by drinking Soju on this day, too.

September 14th is Photo Day. It’s a day for selfies, taking fun pictures in photo sticker booths or going to professional photo studios to take memorable pictures for couples.

October 14th is Wine Day. Couples cheer on their love for each other with a bottle of vino or two.

November 14th is Movie Day. Couples celebrate their love on this day by watching their favorites together. They can go to the movie theater or DVD bang where they rent a room and DVD with a big TV. Clearly, the most popular genre is rom-com.

December 14th is Hug Day. What a way to end the year! On a cold winter day, what would be a better way to show affection than to your beloved by hugging them?

Girlfriend and Boyfriend vs. Married Couple and Other Loved Ones

In America, we give gifts to our significant others, including wives and husbands, on Valentine’s Day. We even give chocolate and gifts to those who we love platonically. Teachers and students, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, friends and so on give chocolate to one another in America. However, Korean Valentine’s Day is only for young non-married couples. In Korea, married couples rarely gift each other on Valentine’s Day.

Korean Words to Know for Korean Valentine’s Day

Since we are learning about Korean Valentine’s Day, why not go over some Korean words which are related to Korean Valentine’s Day?

Here are nine Korean words that are related to Korean Valentine’s Day.

Our Gift Suggestions for Valentine’s Day

Lovebox Original Color & Photo, $130

The Lovebox is a connected, messaging device that pairs with an app to go beyond regular communication and deliver special expressions of affection. 

Seoulbox Signature, $35 + 10% Off with code “BEST10”

Hanyoo Park is a content creator for Best of Korea. She was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently lives and works in Manhattan. She is mom to a 4th grader and a proud maximalist who loves everything about life.

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