Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov. 11 is Pepero Day


QiRanger explains Pepero Day.


Sunil passes along a few Pepero Day legends.

Nov. 11 is called Pepero (빼빼로) Day in South Korea, where the day has become an annual tradition. Pepero Day has become a "second Valentine's Day," when people give each other packages of the chocolate-covered pretzel-like sticks as well as other sweets.

Koreans believe in the power of numbers — as many cultures do. Yet I've never found an ancient Korean connection with the number 11, except the general rule that odd numbers represent the "yang" principle. Nov. 11 become connected with Pepero supposedly because the date, when written as "11/11," resembles five sticks of Pepero.

Since this "holiday" took off in the mid-to-late '90s, Pepero maker Lotte Corp. has made billions of won selling gift baskets especially made for this day.

All of this is quite interesting, because Pepero are basically a knockoff of the original Japanese candy brand Pocky. I'll be noshing on that for Pepero Day, because our local Korean grocer didn't have Pepero in stock.

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