Valentines Day In South Korea: No Flowers And Chocolates For Women



Valentine’s day is coming and I asked my husband recently about our plan. He told me that I’m not getting any chocolates. When I asked him why he said that because I am living in Korea.

We are a couple from two different countries and we respect each other’s culture. This will be my first Valentine’s in Korea and I was expecting it to be really romantic. Blame Korean drama for being so cheesy. I was a little disappointed at first but I have to understand the culture. One rule in our relationship is that we will follow each other’s culture based on where we are. That is basic even for other people who are just visiting a place, but it is a little harder than normal if you need to stay in a foreign place for a long time.


Valentine’s Day in Korea is different from other countries.


Women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day but they don’t receive chocolates in return. Unfair eh? Well, not entirely. A month after that, March 14 to be exact, men give candy to women and it is known as the White Day. Why wait? I’m not quite sure why they have to postpone for a month just to reciprocate a woman’s love and I have not received any answer either except from the fact that it is engrained in their culture.

When my husband was single, her sister used to send her chocolates. She did not want him to feel alone so every Valentine’s, she would send a package to him. Singles actually have their own special day. Every April 14, (talk about celebrations) single people gather together and eat black food. It is called Black Day so you don’t really need to worry if you are single. You just have to wait for the right date.

Dates are still common during February 14 as it is in other parts of the world. If you’re not getting any chocolate, no need to get sulky, just ask your partner to go to the movies or shop. My husband, being an understanding man that he is, offered for us to go to a movie on that date.






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14 Responses

  1. How interesting! I wonder if there’s some significance to each of these holidays being on the 14th of the month?

  2. Jazz says:

    I never heard of this tradition but I LOVE learning about the cultures of others around the world.It is so very interesting!

  3. Jenni Petrey says:

    What a brilliant idea. We’re not big on Valentines day, to us it just another day. We’d just prefer to spend time with each other and our children.

  4. Erin says:

    Isn’t the wait part of the modesty culture in South Korea? I’m not 100% certain, I just thought I heard someone mention that at one point in time.

  5. Chrissy says:

    Very interesting read. I never knew about their culture!

  6. Thi says:

    It’s interesting to learn how different countries celebrate the same holiday as the states and comparing them! This is just my thought growing and seeing how traditional Vietnamese families are. They celebrate the men first because men always come before women in Eastern cultures. Women always have to wait after the men are fully satisfied then tend to herself!

  7. It’s so curious to know how different cultures see globally known festivities. I knew about Valentine’s day and the “chocolate industries affair” in Japan and the white day custom but kìnot in Korea.. 😀

  8. Elizabeth says:

    How interesting to learn about the different culture! A lot of women in the UK don’t get chocolates or flowers either because their men won’t be dictated to by a commercial holiday to do so. They don’t buy chocolates or flowers any other day of the year either, but that’s irrelevant, lol!

  9. Elizabeth O. says:

    It’s quite interesting to learn more about the different traditions that other countries have. I think it’s nice that women give the chocolates for a change, but they also have a day to feel spoiled, so all is fair!

  10. I liked this post because my wife is from a different country as well and their are some cultural difference (She is from South America I am from the States) and we have to compromise on certain holidays lol. For example in ,Chile where she’s from, and most latin americans open there presents for Christmas on the 24th of December.

  11. I’m not sure I understand why they have different days for each thing either. But, to each their own, I suppose. It’s sweet of your husband to agree to go out on Valentine’s though!

  12. Ashley says:

    Did not know about this tradition. I will take chocolate any day lol!

  13. Porche says:

    Japan does the same. I think the white day was smart marketers realizing an opportunity existed.

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