Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peppero Day

Pepero Day is a festive day for the youth of Korea. While not a holiday, it is a day when particularly the Korean youth invest their money in a cookie-stick snack for expressing sentiment to each other and even their teachers. The reason for giving the snack is wrapped in the visual significance of four long cookie-sticks to represent 11/11 or November 11, a visual pun easily noticeable from the poster.

The cookie has been around since 1989 but the celebration of Pepero Day didn't begin until 1994, when according to rumor, some middle-school girls in Pusan gave each other some Pepero sticks and wished each other to grow tall and slim like the Pepero. Lotte, the manufacturer of the snack, has greatly encouraged and further marketed the idea of exchanging Pepero sticks on November 11 by making various flavors, gift packages and foot-long, two-foot long and yard-long Pepero sticks for that special person. The variety of flavors (pictured below) is expanding year by year - chocolate, strawberry, and more with some having almond and nutty chunks on the outside and others just dipped in plain chocolate; other Peperos are nude, meaning the chocolate is on the inside of the cookie snack and the 'nude' term is probably a kickback from the concept of 'nude kimbop', the rice stick mini-meal which usually has seaweed laver on the outside but the nude version is inverted with the seaweed on the inside and rice rolled around.

Although in many ways Pepero Day is like Valentine's Day in that the youth actively give and want to receive Pepero sticks, unlike Valentine's Day on Feb 14 (for men to receive chocolate) and White Day on Mar 14 (for women to receive candy) and Black Day on Apr 14 (for people who didn't receive either chocolate or candy and so must express sadness by eating black noodles), there is no negative side for not receiving Pepero. I suppose this factor is that it is still a "young" festive occasion but with the passing of time, it will undoubtedly build in festive character, especially with the hype in marketing for promoting the snack.

No comments:

Post a Comment