Why Some People Call Valentine’s Day ‘Black Day’ on 14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is traditionally known as a day to celebrate love and affection, where couples exchange gifts and tokens of appreciation. However, in some cultures, there is a counter-celebration called “Black Day” on February 14th. This day is marked by individuals who are single or not in a romantic relationship. The concept of Black Day is particularly popular in South Korea, where it has gained significant traction as a response to the overwhelming commercialization of Valentine’s Day.

Origin of Black Day:

In South Korea, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with unique customs. On February 14th, women are expected to give chocolates to men as a gesture of love. A month later, on March 14th, known as White Day, men reciprocate by giving gifts to women. This leaves those who are single without a designated day to celebrate or receive gifts. In response to this, Black Day was created as an informal holiday for single individuals to come together and enjoy each other’s company.

Celebrating Black Day:

On Black Day, those who did not receive gifts on Valentine’s Day or White Day often gather to eat a dish called Jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with black bean sauce. The dark color of the sauce inspired the name “Black Day.” Jajangmyeon is seen as a comfort food for singles, and the act of eating it together has become a way for individuals to bond over their shared single status.

Significance of Black Day:

Black Day is seen as a lighthearted and humorous way to acknowledge single status and reject the societal pressure to be in a relationship. It serves as a reminder that being single is not a negative state but rather an opportunity to focus on self-love and personal growth. By embracing Black Day, individuals can find solidarity and camaraderie with others who may be in a similar situation.

FAQs about Black Day:

Q1: What is the significance of Jajangmyeon on Black Day?
A1: Jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with black bean sauce, is consumed on Black Day as a symbol of solidarity among single individuals in South Korea.

Q2: Is Black Day only celebrated in South Korea?
A2: While Black Day originated in South Korea, similar informal celebrations for singles on Valentine’s Day can be found in other parts of the world.

Q3: How do people typically celebrate Black Day?
A3: People often gather with friends or participate in events specifically organized for singles. Eating Jajangmyeon is a common tradition on Black Day.

Q4: Does Black Day have any commercial aspects like Valentine’s Day?
A4: Black Day is not as commercialized as Valentine’s Day. It is more about self-acceptance and camaraderie among singles rather than gift-giving.

Q5: What is the message behind celebrating Black Day?
A5: Black Day promotes the idea that being single is not a negative status and encourages individuals to embrace self-love and friendships regardless of their relationship status.

Q6: Are there any traditions or customs associated with Black Day besides eating Jajangmyeon?
A6: Some people choose to wear black clothing or accessories on Black Day as a nod to the name of the holiday.

Q7: How has the concept of Black Day evolved over the years?
A7: Black Day has evolved from a small, informal gathering to a more recognized phenomenon, with restaurants and businesses capitalizing on the trend by offering special promotions for singles.

Q8: Is Black Day considered a form of protest against Valentine’s Day?
A8: While Black Day is a response to the romantic emphasis of Valentine’s Day, it is more about creating a space for individuals who are not in relationships to feel included and valued.

Q9: Can people in relationships participate in Black Day festivities?
A9: Black Day is primarily geared towards singles, but individuals in relationships can also join in the celebrations to show support for their single friends or simply enjoy the camaraderie.

Q10: How has social media influenced the popularity of Black Day?
A10: Social media platforms have helped spread awareness of Black Day beyond South Korea, making it a global phenomenon that resonates with individuals who may feel left out during traditional Valentine’s Day celebrations.