Taken by: John MacLeod
When you’re single, few things are as depressing as the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of similar to the days leading up to prom night, where you embark on a desperate around-the-clock power hunt in search of the perfect mate who must both match your outfit and hopefully be photogenic enough for your high school yearbook.
The difference is that prom night is, (thank god), a once in a lifetime ordeal, whereas Valentine’s Day always manages to creep its way back in every “single” year, taunting even the happiest of singles.
I mean, I don’t mind that people in relationships get to have their own special day to pig out on heart-shaped chocolates and exchange sappy hallmark cards. Nor do I mind that proceeding a couple of these predictable Valentine’s Day rituals, couples then get to throw ostentatious parties called weddings where they can justify inordinate spending and then on top of it be showered with gifts and money.
I don’t mind. Honestly.
What I mind is that us single folks always get left out. Nobody gives us gifts for being single. None of my girlfriends screech in excitement when I tell them that the ring I’m wearing was given to me by my mother. Why not?
All I want is an excuse so that I too can justify spending thousands of dollars on a sumptuous puffy dress I’ll never wear again and throwing a pretentious party with hundreds of guests who’ve come just to celebrate my mere existence and to tell me “Here’s your box of Delafee chocolates and congratulations on being you!” Kind of like a birthday party, but with a lot more hype and a one-week trip to Greece to wrap it up.
Well, in Korea there actually is one day in the year dedicated to single people. Yeah, it’s called Black Day.
The name just says it all, doesn’t it?
On April 14th single people “celebrate” Black Day by dressing in black and eating jajangmyeon (짜장면 ) – white noodles topped with black soybean sauce. Rather than a celebration, Black Day is more like the penalty you pay for not being in a relationship.
I know what you’re thinking. I shouldn’t complain because at least there is a day exclusively targeting singles. So we’re even right?
Did you really think that the hub of heart-shaped paraphernalia and romance dramas would celebrate Valentine’s Day only once a year? Try again. Try once a month. That’s right. On the 14th of every single month -except for April- couples celebrate what are better known as Couple Days. Granted, only 2 days are actually considered important – Valentine’s Day, of course, and then White Day, which takes place one month after. But for those couples committed to making the lives of all Black Day celebrators a living hell, the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day eleven months of the year is there up for grabs.
I’ve studied the intricate mechanics of a Korean Couple Day calendar and broke it down for you so you can get an overview of how Valentine’s Day can be celebrated 11 times in just one year:
January 14th – Planner Day
Also known as Diary Day. On Planner Day couples start the new year by buying planners for one another where they are meant to mark down all important couple-related dates.
February 14th – Valentine’s Day
This is just like the Valentine’s Day we’re familiar with in Canada, except that only boys get gifts on this day.
March 14th – White Day
This time it’s the boys turn to give gifts to the girls.
April 14th – Black Day
Torture chamber time for single people.
May 14th – Rose Day
Couples exchange roses.
June 14th – Kiss Day
July 14th – Silver Day
Couples exchange gifts made of silver. I suppose jewelry will do the job.
August 14th – Green Day
No American punk rock on this unbearably hot summer day. Couples seek refuge from the blazing heat by spending the day in cooler places like forests.
Also, on this day the poor suckers from Black Day who still haven’t found their match can drown their sorrows in a few bottles of soju.
September 14th – Photo Day
This day is confusing to me because it’s supposed to be the day where couples take cute pictures of themselves, but… when have you ever seen a Korean couple not taking cute pictures of themselves?
October 14th – Wine day
Another day that attests to the fact that someone was having some serious creative block when planning the Couples Day calendar
November 14th – Movie Day
Couples go watch a movie together. Sure, you can watch movies with your partner any time of the year and you can also watch as many as you want. But you should definitely go watch a movie on this day, because it’s Movie Day.
December 14th – Hug Day
You’re 12 months into the relationship, so if it hasn’t occurred to you already, you should probably hug this person you’re dating. And what better time to hug him or her than on Hug Day!
If you’ve celebrated any of these days before, tell us about your experience. We’d love to hear your story in the comment space below!
By: Esperanza Maggay (Heemang)