Black Day: South Korea's Anti-Valentine's Day Where Singles Gather In Black And Eat Together

By Jacob Shelton


(Getty Images)

Are you single and tired of the empty calories, cartoon hearts, and permanent glitter that bombard your senses every Valentine's Day? Get ready for your new favorite holiday: Black Day. South Korea's anti–Valentine's Day is the noodle-filled, monochromatic day of the unloved (or at least uncoupled) that you need in your life.

Valentine's Day In South Korea

Valentine's Day became a thing in South Korea in the late 1950s following Pacific's post–World War II reconstruction, but they celebrate it a little differently. Instead of couples exchanging gifts, women shower only the men in presents, and thanks to a stroke of brilliance on the part of a Japanese sweets business in 1978, men return the favor exactly one month later on "White Day." At some point, those of both genders without love in their lives got fed up and created Black Day on April 14, a day to dress all in black and eat black food with your similarly black-hearted friends. As one woman lamented in 2008:

I had a miserable time on Valentine’s Day, felt even lonelier on White Day, and now I’m crying over a bowl of black noodles. Things better be different next year.
Not everyone takes the festivities so deeply to heart, though. Another woman explained in 2019:

It’s not a serious thing. You just get a chance to gather with your friends and just eat and enjoy and celebrate the time.