in Korea, for Valentines day the girl is the one who gives gifts~ not the boy!
That’s right, GIRLS give chocolates to the BOYS!
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Korea and Japan share a lot of common ground with these holidays, Korea is a bit less crazy enthusiastic about these western holidays VS Japan who embraces and goes all out crazy, but as the years go on and it is becoming more and more ingrained in modern culture. Both celebrate Valentines the same way and both have a special day called White Day for men to reciprocate the gifts they are given from girls on Valentines day!
The idea here is girls give out chocolates to that special boy, and often smaller chocolates are given out to friends, classmates, co-workers, etc kinda showing you care… or maybe care+ a polite gesture to be sweet~ its actually appropriately called “obligation chocolate”. The best and largest chocolate with the most love put in goes to the boyfriend or guy you like of course! ♥ Sometimes girls also give out treats to female friends, who does not want a little gift of candy?
valentines day in Korea= ferrero rocher & Toblerone boxes at every mini shop.
I LOVE Valentines day, mainly because I love all the special heart home items (cake pans and stuff) that come out around this time! Here in Korea they celebrate Valentines day on the usual February 14th, and while you are not bombarded with decorations and special things like you would be back home (or even in Japan… they really step it up for the holidays now) it was still around and let itself be known, which was nice. I am one of those people who loves to be slapped with holiday stuff for every major one, special edition colors at stores etc. It just makes me really happy and it is a lot of fun~ Come on!
Per-packed gift baskets for Valentines day at the corner shops
This year was my first official Valentines day in Korea, I *just* missed it two other years I came~ so I always knew they brought out some fun stuff, but everything was being packed away when I arrived. When they started to roll out the special edition holiday gear I knew I wanted to try something fun and actually make my chocolates this year for Nara!
Homemade brownie we were gifted by a Korean friend! YUM!
In Korea and Japan, a handmade gift is the best gesture you can do to show you care on a holiday with boys~ its touching and sweet, not cheap like it can seem at home from some people.
Packaging is also important, especially for ladies~ don’t be lazy!! Even if you buy little candies from the store to give out you can just swing over to ArtBotx or Daiso (even cheaper!) and spend a few more bucks to get little gift baggies+ ribbon to tie or cute stickers to seal off a bag.
♥ Presentation is everything in Korea when it comes to gifts!♥
About 3-4 weeks before the holiday our local stationary/book shop rolled out a giant table filled with all sorts of gear for making Valentines day chocolates. Sadly it pales in comparison to the range of kits, boxes, molds, etc that come out other places, but its enough to get what you need done~ and done with MAXIMUM CUTENESS! Isn’t that what is important anyway?
Mounds of sprinkles at a local ArtBox shop
You can also find LOTS of gear over at 방산시장 Bangsan Market (the cooking supplies mecca of Seoul & best but also the most crowded supply option!) along with the usual E-mart 이마트 and Lotte Mart 롯데마트
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Since this holiday is filled with lots of young girls making gifts, everything out for crafting on these holidays usually costs about 1,000-3,000 won a piece. Some of these decorations are kinda hard to find so cheap normally in Korea around my house, so I made sure to stock up!!
So here is what I grabbed to start my Korean Valentines Chocolate adventure this year! Two molds, paper cups, cookie crumbles, piping bags, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Strawberry Chocolate, Melon Chocolate, and chocolate detail pens!
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All the products are by ihappytime a Korean brand.
those cookie crumbles are AMAZING. Going to buy larger bags of them off the ihappytime website sometime~ they tasted great!
My dark chocolate bag exploded all over my hands… making it look like I was playing with doodoo. How lovely!
Making chocolates was tedious because of the tiny molds, but it was SO much fun!!! I’m so glad I finally did this! Most of the stoves in Korea are Gas burners so I found melting the chocolate on them SUPER tricky because the heat was just all over the place… but then I realized something AMAZING. My space heater fan actually worked at melting the chocolate and keeping it melted PERFECTLY. I’m not kidding, It worked out amazing and any time something needed to get softened up I just shoved the bowl closer to the fan. ^^
Most importantly, when Valentines day came around Nara loved his little chocolates! I’ll be doing this again for sure. Everyone else I gave them too was impressed by the detail and the fact I made them myself, so I’m glad they seemed to be a hit. Some came out a bit fugly, but I’m just glad I made something semi cute for my first attempt that I was not embarrassed to give to people.
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♥ Handy Korean Phrases ♥
I love you (polite) – 사랑해요
I was thinking of you – 네생각하고 있었어
I made this for you – 이거 널위해 만든거야
I got this for you – 이거 널위해샀어
Do you like it? – 맘에 들어?
Happy valentines day – 해피 발랜타인
What did you do for valentines day this year? Did you make anything? Comment below!