Pepero day is a holiday here in South Korea on 11/11 similar to Valentine’s day where couples and friends exchange gifts to show their love. It’s not just any gift that is given, but Peperos. Peperos are rather tasty long sticks dipped in chocolate or other flavors. They do it on this date because 11/11 looks like four pepero sticks!
Lotte (the company who makes peperos as well as just about everything else in Korea including a baseball team) have denied making up the holiday despite selling more Peperos during this time than the whole of the year put together, even if they didn’t start it they certainly do use it to their advantage with special packaging and gift boxes! Rumor has it that the holiday began in Busan back in 1994 by female students at a middle school who exchanged Pepero sticks as gifts to each other to wish they would grow up to be ‘tall and slender like a Pepero’…. likely story!!
I had heard quite a bit of this from my students however I was actually shocked at how crazy this was! For the last few days the supermarkets have stocked up on all sorts of Peperos ranging from a normal packet for 800won ($0.80) up to massive gift packs for 50,000 ($50) And even the CU Marts and 7/11 had enough Pepero’s to feed a small town with big displays sometimes out on the street.
I thought it would be nice to pick up some for my students so went into the supermarket to pick up a few boxes. What I was greeted with was displays of brightly color boxes, made into love hearts and even one that made up PSY! There were people pushing to get in, staff gift wrapping and just general mayhem!
My students were even telling me that they can actually buy a set where they can make their own Peperos to be extra special! I got a few of these today with messages of love and sprinkled in all sorts of 100’s and 1000’s.
Call it cute or one of the most ingenious marketing schemes ever (Kudos to Lotte, can you imagine a Coca cola holiday day?!)… Pepero day is certainly interesting and I couldn’t resist getting in the mood and giving Andy a Pepero present of his own!! And I got one in return! Aw!
And for even more Pepero fun… check out the Pepero song!!! One this is for sure…. a diet is needed after all this chocolate, cant help but think my dad would LOVE this holiday!!!