Valentine’s Day is just a day away! We all have our own opinions about this day, but I’ll use this post to share some facts about how it’s celebrated in South Korea.
Valentine’s Day In The USA
From what I remember, couples in the USA exchange gifts with each other. Gifts could be: jewelry, chocolate, flowers, a special meal, sexy time, or any other kind of thoughtful gift.
I also remember celebrating this day in grade school. We’d make boxes where we’d drop in candies and cards for our classmates.
Valentine’s Day In South Korea
South Korea LOVES its holidays. I mean, there are random holidays scattered throughout the months, but the holidays that land on the 14th day of the month are usually celebrated by couples especially youths.
On Valentine’s Day, women are the ones who give gifts to the men in their life. For young girls, giving chocolates to their father, male friends, and sometimes even their teacher is common. For young adult women, chocolates are usually given to a spouse and maybe male friends.
These gifts are usually chocolate, and sometimes homemade! During this season, many craft stores will sell DIY chocolate sets and empty boxes to store chocolaty creations. Some sets are for truffles, chocolate biscuits, solid chocolates, and some include chocolate pens to create cute character chocolates.
Wait, What About Women?
That’s probably what you’re thinking at this point. You’re also probably thinking, “Wow, that’s not fair!” Fear not! Women have a different holiday where they receive gifts. This day is called White Day, and it’s celebrated one month after Valentine’s Day on March 14th.
On this day, women of all ages receive hard candies. The most common item to give are lollipops. However, gummies (jellies as they call them here in SK) are also popular items to give as well. On rare occasions, I’ve seen people giving small bouquets of flowers as well.
I’m Single And Don’t Celebrate Any Of These Days
Now there is a day that you can celebrate! Well…sorta celebrate. It’s actually a day for single people who didn’t receive or give gifts on Valentine’s Day and White Day. This day is called Black Day, and it’s on April 14th. It’s just as sad as the name sounds. On this day, single people, all alone, eat 짜장면, which are black bean noodles. I mean, you could totally eat with your other single friends because eating black bean noodles alone sounds really sad.
Well Rebecca, Are You Celebrating This Year?
In a way, yes and no. My husband isn’t big on holidays of any sort. However, I love being crafting and making things. I haven’t made chocolates for him since we were dating, so I cheated a lot in my chocolate making. Plus, sometimes he can be really unappreciative, so even if he doesn’t like the sweet chocolate treats I made, I can still enjoy them myself!
Making Jam Filled Chocolate:
What You Need:
•Chocolate of your or your spouse’s desire
•Silicon mold of whatever shapes you like (silicon molds are easier to clean and last a long time, so I prefer them)
•Chocolate box with cute paper
•Double boiler or a small pot and a metal bowl that can rest on top of the warm water
•Toppings for decoration
•Filling of any kind (I used jam, but you could use anything you’d like)
•Metal spoon and butterknife
1. Heat a small amount of water in a pot. Place the metal bowl (or glass bowl) over the hot water. Make sure that the water isn’t too high as to cause the water in the pot to overflow from the pressure of the bowl on top. Also, make sure the water isn’t boiling. If water gets into your chocolate, it’ll be ruined and you’ll have to start over again.
2. Once the chocolate has melted down, take the bowl off the heat and pour the chocolate into each mold. NOTE! If You buy chocolate that doesn’t need to be tempered, you can just pour the chocolate directly into the mold. HOWEVER! If your chocolate needs to be tempered, you need to add unmelted pieces of chocolate to the already melted chocolate to temper it. If you don’t do this to chocolate that isn’t already tempered, it’ll never solidify at room temperature and you won’t have beautiful shiny chocolates!
Before this step, you can add topping to the bottoms of your mold to have a more unique and decretive chocolate. Also, if you want a solid piece of chocolate, don’t do step three, just let the chocolate cool.
3. Once the chocolate is a little solid around the edges, pour out the excess chocolate back into the bowl you used to melt it in. You can use the left over chocolate for another treat. This step can be very messy and may take practice.
4. Once you have your empty chocolate shells, fill them in with whatever filling you like. After filling them up, put a bit more of the melted chocolate on top to seal in the filling. This step can also be quite tricky and take practice. As you can see from the photo below, I made a mess!
5. Once the chocolate are completely cooled off (you can pop them into the fridge for a few), you can pop them out of the molds. With the silicon mold, the chocolates were able to come out with ease.
6. Last, put decretive paper into the compartments in the chocolate box and carefully place the chocolates inside!
Here you can see my wonderful chocolate creations! Are they perfect, naw, but hopefully my husband will appreciate them.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
I also bought these mini creampuffs that I know my husband loves. However, I wanted to jazz them up a bit. With the left over topping and chocolate, I hand dipped and decorated them.
With the extra melted chocolate, I dipped in the top of the creampuffs. Then, while the chocolate was still melted, I dipped them into my crunchy topping. I eventually ran out of both topping and chocolate, but I’m sure they’ll still be eaten.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and found it informative/helpful. I also hope that it spread light on how Valentine’s Day is celebrated here in South Korea. Even if you don’t care about these kinds of holidays, remember to always love and treat yourself right. Go out and buy a box of chocolates, pop open a bottle of wine, and take time for yourself.