Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

An orphan Valentine card collects rain drops Friday.

The 14th day of the month is almost always some kind of occasion in Korea. Yesterday was Valentine's Day, of course, a holiday which is gaining popularity by both lovers and businesses each year, but it's just one in a string of "Days" that call upon one subgroup or another to celebrate, bestow, mourn, eat, or get drunk whilst walking in the woods. For instance, the month of October utilizes a homonym for its 14th. Koreans give apples (sagwa) to apologize (also sagwa) for past infractions. Here are some shots taken around Seoul on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday morning subway traffic was sparse, but I did notice a few passengers laden with gifts, cakes, and flowers.

Despite what I thought was charming coaxing on my part to get Ms. Flowers to remove her hand from her mouth, she didn't oblige. Maybe she had chocolate on her teeth. Nonetheless, she and her beau seemed to be having a delightful Valentine's Day.

Korea's commercial sector has fully embraced the Western holiday.

Convenience store employees braved Saturday evening's cold temperatures to peddle V-Day goodies near subways and bus stops.

Valentine’s Day in Korea favors dudes, since it’s widely accepted as an occasion for women to profess their affection for the men in their lives through chocolates, cakes that look too cute to cut, and any number of other well-marketed goodies that spoony lovers can’t resist. For more about Korea’s unique Valentine’s Day customs, see last year’s post.


Ladyslippers said...

That's interesting since in America the holiday is more for the woman than the man.

Vic in Long Beach, CA said...

YUP. The Woman is supposed to give US the gifts. What a wonderful culture!!!

Jazzkevin said...

No ladies gave me any chocolates or other gifts. :-( Guess I wasn't nice enough this past year.

Abby Rhodes said...

Ladyslippers: I agree that American women tend to put more emphasis on Valentine's Day than men, meaning chicks expect gifts! Overall, it's much more equal opportunity than Korea's observance.

Vic: Go ahead and enjoy Valentine's Day, but remember . . . White Day is all about the LADIES!!! Guys are supposed to give candy (not necessarily chocolate) on White Day. It's March 14th . . . don't forget!

Kevin: Sorry to hear you were slighted this year. The good news is you have plenty of time to snag a sweetie before next Valentine's Day!

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