Pepero Day

If you thought Valentine’s Day back home was a holiday that exists purely for commercial purposes, exploited by consumerism and force fed to the masses… you haven’t encountered the South Korean contrived Pepero Day. I’m not trying to knock it though… Pepero is a cookie stick dipped in chocolate or other flavors and it’s super delicious. My favorites are dipped in chocolate and bits of almonds. They are similar to the Japanese Pocky.

Pepero

Pepero Day is November 11th, or 11/11, a date that resembles 4 Pepero sticks standing side by side. It’s a holiday born out of the necessity for couples to exchange Pepero cookie sticks in an attempt to demonstrate their love to each other. Knowing all of this… of course I bought her favorite flavor, the banana Pepero, to share with my girlfriend, because I was afraid if I didn’t, she wouldn’t know that I care for her. Not buying Pepero for your sweetheart… you must not love her.

You can buy Pepero year round, at any supermarket or convenience store. But the last week it’s gotten out of hand. Increased amounts of Pepero are at the stores. Special displays of Pepero gift baskets are everywhere. There are sales tents and gazebos popping up in public places. I read on the internet that Lotte does 55% of it’s Pepero sales during the month of November.

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On Pepero Day Eve I was fortunate enough to visit a Home Plus store and witness the madness. Crowds of people were flocking to what had temporarily turned in to the Pepero aisle, pushing and shoving to the shelves and displays to grab their favorite flavor. Store employees couldn’t keep the shelves stocked, constantly opening new boxes and continually replenishing the supply of cookie sticks.

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Some of my students were eating them, and unfortunately I didn’t get as many shared with me as I expected. I know, poor me.

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But… it’s not all good. Pepero Day has some opposition from the government of South Korea as they push to replace it with their official November 11th holiday, Garaetteok Day, the traditional cylinder shaped Korean rice cakes. Makes more sense, but it’s not nearly as fun or commercially viable.

http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2912156

Learn Korean with KoreanClass101.com

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on November 12, 2009.

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