Jajangmyeon, the dish eaten to celebrate Black Day
|Observed by||Singles in South Korea|
|Significance||A third 'day marketing' holiday following Valentine's Day and White Day|
|Next time||14 April 2016|
The day is associated with Valentine's Day and White Day as a holiday on the 14th day of the month. On this day, people who did not receive gifts on the previous two days gather and eat jajangmyeon. This day is specifically for single people.
In South Korea, Valentine's Day and White Day are both celebrated as occasions to give gifts to the opposite gender. Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14, when women buy men gifts (usually chocolate). White Day is celebrated on March 14, when men reciprocate the gifts with their own, also present in the form of chocolate. As both occasions fall on the 14th, other holidays were created by the government of South Korea for all other months to continue this trend. The creation has also been attributed to marketers.
Black Day builds on the romantic aspect of Valentine's Day and White Day. As the chocolates received on Valentine's Day are interpreted to symbolize a man's popularity and the chocolates given on White Day are used solely for romantic purposes, Black Day focuses on the people, especially singles, who did not receive any gifts on either of the holidays.
On the day, singles who have not received presents on both days gather wearing black to 'commiserate' over black-colored food, especially jajangmyeon. During the meal, they complain about their lack of intimate relationships and chocolate gifts.
This day is targeted by businesses, who hold various events and advertise their products, a strategy known as 'day marketing.' The events are highly popular, and includes matchmaking events such as speed dating, jajangmyeon-eating contests, and discounts on items.
- 데이마케팅 [Day Marketing]. Doopedia (in Korean). Doosan Corporation. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Smith, K. (February 13, 2013). "Korea’s Black Day: When Sad, Single People Get Together And Eat Black Food". Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Herskovitz, Jon (April 14, 2008). "South Korea's Black Day for love". Reuters (Seoul: Thomson Reuters). Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Phelan, Sarah (February 11–18, 2004). "Black Noodle Days". Metro Santa Cruz (Metro Publishing Inc). Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- 블랙데이, 올리브영 이벤트… "솔로 아니면 못 사?" [Black Day, OliveYoung Event... "Can't buy it if you're not single?"]. DKBnews (in Korean) (donga.com). April 14, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2014.