Black Day – April

noodlesValentine’s Day is celebrated with chocolate while on White Day, white chocolates are gifted.  However, on Black Day, an unofficial holiday in South Korea on April 14th, is the time when singles get together to eat and celebrate being single.  The reason behind the holiday name is also related to the food eaten on this day.  Because of this holiday, there are certain groups of people who look forward to this day in April.

Black Day is celebrated yearly on April 14th by single people in South Korea who are not in a relationship.  Most people who celebrate this are young college students who do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend yet.  On this day, they get together with their friends who are also single to visit restaurants and eat jajangmyeon which is a Chinese style noodle topped with black bean paste.  Jajangmyeon is a sweet and savory dish that is very popular in South Korea.  The thick sauce that is topped on the soft noodles is made from black soybeans and is eaten by mixing the paste evenly with the noodles.  The reason why the holiday was named Black Day is because of the custom to dress in dark clothing from head to toe and consuming black colored food.  Black was believed to symbolize someone’s loneliness without a companion.  Restaurants often look forward to this day because the mass consumption of jajangmyeon means extra sales.

With the popularity of jajangmyeon on April 14th, many companies use the holiday as an opportunity to increase their company awareness.  Restaurants have promotions on Black Day to attract groups of singles looking to eat jajangmyeon.  Movie theaters, for example offer entry to its jajangmyeon eating contest for those who purchase a single ticket for a movie viewing.

Besides restaurants and movie theaters being able to earn extra money on this day, matchmaking service companies are also gaining popularity around Black Day.  Matchmaking services are offering speed dating during this time of the year to those who wish to find a compatible one in order to avoid this holiday.  Many of these companies are offering sushi blackened by squid ink to serve to participants during the speed dating process.

Despite Black Day sounding like a depressed holiday for acknowledging one’s single status in South Korea, it is perfect for spending time with friends to eat delicious food.  In addition, this holiday is also great for companies who are looking for additional ways to increase their sales.

Submitted by Irene Lam

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