Since the creation of Pepero in Korea in 1983 (the original being Pocky from Japan), Korea has decided to create an observance of 11/11 to be the "Pepero Day - 빼빼로 데이" A reflection of four Pepero sticks, this holiday is recognized by all, but celebrated by the younger generation and couples of course. Being that Korea is so popular for the dating culture, of course Valentines Day, White Day, and even Christmas (which is supposed to be a family holiday) is not enough. The creation of Pepero day is just another romantic holiday where couples and young students give each other Pepero.
Because of this extremely recognized holiday, Pepero actually makes about half of theirs annual sales around this time of the year. Although it is a holiday, unlike in America where price of items go up, Pepero is actually still at an average of $1 sometimes even less. What you will notice is that this time of the year, supermarkets and stores stack up on Pepero. This is the only time of the year though, that you will find special Pepero which include a his and hers in blue and red for your significant other. There is also the creation of structures and symbols with the Pepero boxes, extremely creative.
This year, you will see that I have Instagrammed two new flavors of cookies and cream and honeydew. Korea got pretty creative this year with the cookies and cream hitting the shelves and stirring the attention of many. For those with an extra sweet tooth, this is definitely the Pepero for you being that it is a lot sweeter than the other kinds. In fact, I like my box with a cup of milk, just like an Oreo cookie. I can't say the same about honeydew though for the very reason that less than half of my students actually enjoy it and pretty much none of the teachers at the job like it. With a wide range of flavors which include cookies, almond, peanut, strawberry, nude, honeydew and of course the original, I wouldn't mind getting a huge box of Pepero this year being it might be my last celebration of Pepero Day.
It makes many a bit curious though, as to how this holiday started. Ironic enough, one story is that Pepero Day started in 1994 by a bunch of Busan middle school students, a few girls to be exact where they exchanged these sticks and wish one another to be "tall and skinny" just like the Pepero stick. Regardless of how the day came about, it is recognized as a holiday where friends give each other Pepero, couples exchange gifts in addition of Pepero and it is actually encouraged by parents because they are the ones that supply their children with boxes to give out. With this though, comes the problem of obesity which some have attempted to combat by switching out Pepero sticks with Garatteok Day (sticks of white tteok).
Being that I am so in love with Pepero day, I'm still excited. So, HAPPY PEPERO DAYYYYYYY!
Graduating with a double major in Communications and Chinese from Rutgers University, it wasn’t long after working in the Big Apple that Cindy Ung decided to take a break from the cliché 9-5 lifestyle and move to Korea to teach English for CDI. Making the bold step to leave her comfortable, mapped out life in the States, she has fallen more in love with the Korean culture as each day passes. With weekly mountain hikes, weekend road trips, discovering great foods and beauty products, constantly meeting new people, her life in Korea has been everything but mapped out.
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer.