Thursday, June 26, 2014

Candy and Spam: Holidays in Korea Part 1


Experiencing the holidays and celebrations of another culture is a fun part of traveling. We've been in Korea for almost a year now, so we've seen some interesting things come and go. Today, I'll just share a handful of the holidays with you.

Pepero Day came around on November 11th.  This is a day that would make Hallmark proud. Hershey should stand up and take notice. This day is entirely devoted to exchanging packages of wafer like cookie sticks.
 Some are dipped in chocolate, others have a chocolate filling. Some have nuts. Some don't. When I first saw them, I figured they would have a fake sweet taste and be pretty disgusting. After receiving several packages from my students, I discovered that the chocolate dipped with nuts is my favorite flavor.

 According to my students, this day was originally a day to celebrate farmers. According to Wikipedia, people originally traded Pepero with wishes of becoming tall and then. It also pointed out that the date, 11/11, resembles the cookies sticks.

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th but it is a day for women to buy men gifts. Stores go crazy with big displays of imported candy, Pepero and Spam gift sets.
SPAM Classic

Men return the favor on March 14th or White Day. Again, the stores are filled to the brim with trinkets, chocolate and Spam. On both holidays, children brought me chocolate and handmade cards.

I'll tell you one thing. This country has candy marketing down pat. I wish I would have taken pictures of the outrageous displays. Even sidewalk vendors set up to sell candy and cheesy gifts.

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