Love in Korea

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We all know the 14th of February is Valentine’s Day, but have you ever celebrated love on the 14th of March? In Korea, both dates are considered romantic holidays!

Valentine’s Day is celebrated differently in Korea, with two different dates dedicated to both boys and girls! In the sweetest love tradition, on the 14th of February, a boy is gifted chocolate from any girl who may like him. Then comes the 14th of March when it’s time for the boy to return the favour, he will often choose a darling gesture of his own to express his love for the girl he likes.

Along with Valentine’s Day, Korean couples also celebrate other love-centric holidays such as 100 Day Anniversaries, Diary Day or Candle Day (Jan), Yellow Day or Rose Day (May), Kiss Day (June), Silver Day (July), Green Day (August), Photo Day (September), Wine Day (October), Movie Day (November) and Hug Day (December). All of these love holidays are celebrated on the 14th of each month.

And of course, the singles are not abandoned during Koreas love holiday series either. Black Day is celebrated on April 14th and is dedicated to singles who have

missed out on gifts from previous romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day and White Day. On this day, singles will dress in all-black clothing, meet with other singles and eat jajangmyeon (noodles with black sauce) together.

For me, I believe Black Day is an important day to love yourself before you start to get into a relationship.

The poems below are an ode to love and Korea’s warmth for everyone on Valentine’s Day.


Your Gaze

Let me give it time to think.

Recalling my memories,

In the blink of an eye

Remember our precious time together?

Hand in hand, the violet night was ours.

When I first saw you, I saw twinkling stars through your eyes.

You are the first star of the night sky.

Like a meteor shower,

You make me smile on a lonely night.

The sense of comfort and peace.

The moment at night, the moment with the moon, this moment with you.

You are my cosmos for eternal night.

You are my last love in my dream.

I bid you a sweet dream.


Your Name

I first met you in mid-autumn.

Words cannot describe how this love started.

It was so strange the first time I saw you,

it made me smile.

The curve of my lips smiled at your name,

I cannot help being happy.

It was the season of gloomy weather,

standing in the rain with my umbrella,

filled with worries and doubt rather than believing.

When I saw you, they diminished into nothing.

Let the season of spring come,

and out of the 10 flowers, I will pick you.

Like a butterfly searching for sweet nectar,

when I’m with you,

everything becomes lighter and quieter.

To check out more of Seol Hanyang’s work, follow her on Instagram at @seolhanyang.

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