Happy Pepero Day!

Yesterday, someone said, “Wait Monica,” while turning back and getting something. He returned with an outstretched arm, nudging an object in my rested hands. “For you,” he smiled. I looked down from his face to my hands. And saw a box of Pepero.

I didn’t know what to say at first. I barely know him and even though I know that some people just give a gift to random people, I still feel shy about it. Another friend saw what I was holding and freed me from my thoughts. “In Korea, tomorrow is an important day,” he began lecturing but I cut him off with an I-know response. Of course, I know about Pepero Day. A commercial festival made popular by Lotte’s Pepero, a cookie snack dipped in chocolate syrup and sometimes nuts, the day has been signified as a sort of Valentine’s Day when instead of giving out chocolate, it is Pepero box.

But I have forgotten the date.

Today, November 11, Korea celebrates Peppero Day and merchants were being creative in able to attract customers to buy more boxes. Packaging is as important as the biscuits themselves, and the vendors definitely worked that for their advantage. What a marketing strategy!

For a bit of history, November 11 is always celebrated as Pepero Day as the date 11/11 looks like four (if you don’t count the division sign) Pepero sticks. It was believed to be started somewhere in Busan around 1994.

In younger couples, a box of Pepero in the Day is important. Much like remembering one’s anniversary, a missed Pepero will give a signal to a woman who did not receive any that her man does not return her affections. However, on a happy note, receiving Pepero can also be a contest. The popularity of young girls is determined by the number of boxes they’ll receive.

Unfortunately, my Korean ex never gave me one. For the two celebrations which passed during our relationship he was always in Korea so I understand it. But still.

So I always feel happy whenever someone gives me a box. I feel appreciated and noticed. I know there’s nothing romantic between me and the givers of the gifts, but it still feels nice to be remembered. That’s the word: remembered. And I hope I will always be.

Enough sentimentality. Now for you guys, have any of you heard of this Pepero Day? Do you have a Korean friend, classmate, colleague, crush, boyfriend, or husband? How did he give it to you?

For others, do you have a similar festival in your country or place? Not like those red calendar days, but those which are just made up? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

34 thoughts on “Happy Pepero Day!

  1. It sounds as though it’s your ex’s loss. The closest thing we have to that is Sweetest day (October sometime) where school kids buy carnations or things like that for their friends. The carnation color usually signifies something. Red=love, pink=friendship, yellow=secret admirer and white means something, too, but I don’t remember.

  2. I first learned about the Japanese version Pocky Day. This reminds me that I should get myself a box tomorrow (it’s still the 10th here). I wish I had someone who understood this day so we could celebrate together.

    1. Aha! Really? Funny I didn’t know about Pocky Day until now. Haha! Well, it is understandable since Pocky and Pepero are the same. Is it also manufactured by Lotte? Or Meiji?

      I hope you were successful to buy some. Come here and let’s celebrate together!

      1. Pocky is manufactured by Glico.

        I did celebrate! Luckily, the grocery store where I work carry the standard flavors. But when I see all the types available in Japan, I want buy them all.

    1. If you are here I can give you one. Philippines has been influence by Japanese and Koreans so it is extremely easy here to get their products. We can buy it almost anywhere!

      Do you have something like this in your country?

      1. In India, there is a special day when sisters tie bright colored bands on their brothers’ wrist. It shows appreciation for the protection they provide. It’s chalked Rakhi bandhan. Rakhi is the name of the band and bandhan means bond or relationship… :-)…

          1. Ya the movie, but I joke and say that we Koreans actually made the REAL matrix and that ALL of you are living in it. I also tell people that annoy me, quit frequently actually, that they have “made me mad and when I remake the matrix tonight they just lost their place.” Yes… I have a strange sense of humor.

Share your thoughts, I would love to read them!