Shown above are Pepero cookies, which young lovers typically exchange on Nov. 11 Pepero Day. Photo courtesy of Lotte Confectionery

Young people exchange thin crackers on the day

Tomorrow is Single’s Day in China where people go on a shopping spree to celebrate bachelors. In comparison, South Korean lovers exchange presents on the day.

And the most typical presents here are long and thin crackers that look like the number “1” as four “1s” make Nov. 11, otherwise called Pepero Day _ stick-shaped cookie brand Pepero is one of the most popular gifts.

Some come up with complaints that corporations are manipulating consumers with such a made-up holiday. But the country is full of a festival atmosphere on every Nov. 11.

The challenge for some young couples here is to trade gifts at 11:11 am or 11:11 pm at 11 seconds sharp to involve as many “1s” as possible.

Understandably, there was great hype on Nov. 11, 2011, with six “1’s.” Some called the date “Millennium Pepero Day,” which will not appear again for 1,000 years.

“Yes, some may think it’s a marketing stunt. But the day makes people happy. In addition, cookie sticks are not so expensive. Then, I am fine with that,” said Kang Rok-hee, a high-school student in Seoul.

His friend, who asked not to be named, concurred.

“I am not excited about traditional holidays that much. But I am very excited about Pepero Day. Then, who dare to call the day a made-up holiday,” she said.

It remains to be seen how long Pepero Day will continue. But it seems that the day will fascinate young people in a few years to come.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.