Our Not So Romantic Holidays
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I never had any pretenses about my husband lacking a romantic bone in his body after we ‘celebrated’ our 100 days together. In Korea, couples aren’t so much into celebrating months together like young couples in the States, but they’re interested in the 100s. To reach the 100th day is auspicious and often couple rings are exchanged on this day, though at the time I didn’t know anything about this special day. My husband happened to mention that our 100 days would fall on Christmas Eve, also a special time for couples in Korea, and that made it even more special. Just the fact that he mentioned it made me assume we’d be getting dressed up and going out to wine and dine. Boy was I wrong. We did get dressed up, but Christmas Eve is NOT the best time to go out and try to find a reasonably priced romantic meal. With every other couple in the country going out as well and restaurants set up with special menus for two and rearranging tables for two, everything would cost double what it normally would and as I’ve mentioned before, my husband was pretty frugal when we first started dating. We ended up in a brightly lit Terikyaki chicken restaurant with plastic trays and no wine anywhere in sight. We ate our meal and then headed to our friend’s in Pia‘s concert. The concert could have been the highlight but the singer catered to the clearly very large number of single girls in the audience and made numerous comments about love sucking and so on with far worse language. Had my husband ever seen a romantic comedy? I’m sure he had. Was he ever going to be the romantic man from one of them? No way and I continued to learn that lesson throughout the numerous other “couple” holidays Korea has.
There was the time he bought a cake and we both stared at it…
Me: It’s a nice cake.
Him: Do you want to eat it?
Me: Um… I guess.
Him: I don’t really like cake.
Me: Yeah, me either. I thought I told you that before.
Him: Yeah, you did.
Me: So, why’d you get it then?
Him: I don’t know. It’s what Koreans do on holidays.
We both stared at the flickering candles on the top of the cake in the dark room and then gave it to his roommates to enjoy. I forget what romantic holiday this was for because aside from the cake it wasn’t any more special than any other day we were together.
There was the time I woke in the morning and found a bell shaped plastic Ferrero Rocher chocolate gift on the top of our toilet. I went back to bed and awoke later to a very eager boyfriend.
Him: Did you see it?!
Me: What? The chocolate balls on the toilet?
Me: And you thought the top of the toilet was the best place for that because…?
Him: I knew that would be the first place you’d go in the morning. I put it in there after you went to sleep last night.
Me:…Okay, maybe the toilet isn’t the best place to put food or a good place to make a romantic gesture.
That holiday was cold and drizzly and though I wanted to go out anyway, he convinced me to stay in and cuddle up to watch a romantic comedy. The romantic comedy ended up being a romantic comedy for older people. The main characters were all in their 50s and 60s. Suffice to say, it wasn’t our best romantic holiday together.
Eventually he learned that any romantic night we’d have together should probably come with a bottle of wine and some chocolate and I learned that if I wanted to have a romantic evening, I should probably be the one planning it. Though we’ve learned these lessons, we’re still pretty simple people. Our first anniversary when we were dating, he asked me where I wanted to go, which restaurant with wine had I chosen, and I told him I honestly just wanted a beer and some chicken. He was just fine with that and we had a great night together. It’s been about the same since then. Not every romantic holiday needs wine and chocolate or beer and chicken but as long as we’re together, we’re good to go.
Do you want to celebrate the romantic holidays the way Koreans do? Here’s 12 to look out for if you start dating a Korean person. Be prepared!
- January 14: Diary Day
- Couple buy each other cute daily planners for the year so they can plan all of the days they will be together.
- February 14: Valentine’s Day
- The woman in the relationship buys the man gifts and showers him with kisses. Don’t get confused ladies, your holiday will come next.
- March 14: White Day
- Now it’s the guy’s turn to shower the girl with all of the romantic gestures he can muster.
- April 14: Black Day
- This isn’t for the couples in love instead, it’s for the singles out there. Single friends get together, eat a bowl of noodles in black sauce and celebrate being single/ brood over lovers lost.
- May 14: Rose Day/ Yellow Day
- Couples exchange roses and dress up in yellow clothes because… why not?
- June 14: Kiss Day
- Should be obvious what happens on this day.
- July 14: Silver Day
- Couples exchange silver accessories, the highest one being silver rings meaning it’s a match made in heaven.
- August 14: Green Day
- Couples can be eco-friendly and get back out into nature on this day while the single counterparts are drinking down the soju from those lovely green bottles. Everyone wins!
- September 14: Photo Day
- Because people aren’t taking enough selfies as it is, here is a day to take as many pictures of yourself with your lover as you can.
- October 14: Wine Day
- Again, another holiday that should have events that are obvious by the name of the day.
- November 14: Movie Day
- Get to the movie theater early on this day or you’ll be left standing on the curb with no tickets in hand because every other couple has the same idea as you.
- December 14: Hug Day
- To wrap up the year, give your loved one a big hug and you’ve hit all of the “special” couple holidays on the Korean couple’s calendar.