|Standard Pepero repertoire|
Happy Pepero Day!
As far as I can tell, Pepero (빼빼로!!) Day is the Korean equivalent of Valentine’s Day, but much more delicious and less guilt-inducing. Just like Valentine’s Day, Pepero Day is probably a commercialist stunt pulled by Lotte, a confectionary company who has manufactured the Japanese-based product (pocky) since the 80s.
According to Wikipedia (I am not ashamed!), there is one story that Pepero Day was begun by some schoolgirls in Busan. These girls exchanged the tall chocolate-covered pretzels on November 11 (11/11—like sticks of Pepero), in order to wish one another luck in growing tall and skinny—like a Pepero stick.
Unlike Valentine’s Day, however, there seems to be less pressure on couples. Yes, boyfriends and girlfriends are expected to get special Pepero for their special person, but it’s not nearly as difficult: it’s far more clear-cut. Stores upon stores gear up for Pepero Day and since the “holiday” revolves around little candy sticks (sometimes chocolate, sometimes strawberry, sometimes “nude”) there are only so many variations. And, as always with couples in Korea, it’s just about being as cute as possible.
And, as I believe we’ve already covered, Koreans excel in that particular department.