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!

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

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!

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.

♥  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!

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28 Responses to “Valentines day in Korea ♥ 발렌타인 데이”

  • Those turned out amazingly cute! I’ve always wanted to decorate chocolates for valentines dat.

    Love your blog concept by the way, it’s interesting to hear these things from a foreigner’s point of view. Keep it up!! :D

    • Custom avatar Elle:

      thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it! haha I’m hoping this will be a nice new POV about Korea~ All the other blogs by foreigners don’t really appeal to me so I just made my own. HAH! ^^

  • Your chocolates came out so cute! I’m so inspired to try this soon! xo

    • Elle:

      omg it was SO easy girl~ If anything I just wish I had invested in some tweezers to help place small candy parts on them better. I want to try making some smaller ones and maybe using them as cupcake toppers next time! muhahaha

  • Caz:

    Those chocoltes are AMAZING!!!!!!!

  • HI THIS IS THE CUTEST BLOG ENTRY! I want to make those chocolates so bad! Daiso is my favoriteeeee store!!!!

    That drawing of you and Nara is so adorbies ; ; and my dear god the avatars are so adorable too.

    • Custom avatar Elle:

      You should do it Zambi!!! Make some unicorn choco, it was so easy~ just a little hard on my eyeballs from looking so closely at those tiny little things! I totally did not set out to draw nara and I… but I kinda did. Gah I’m such a dork-face

  • Custom avatar Zanna:

    Ah, those are so adorable! So tiny and cute! Did they taste as good as they look?

    Definitely want to try making some! Now, to hunt for cute molds. :)

    P.S. Loving the new blog. Korea seems to have so many fun things to see and do!

    • Elle:

      Aw thank you!! Actually YES THEY DID! The bag brand of chocolate I bought had AMAZING dark chocolate… it was the right balance of bitter with sweet. Proof of that was the fact I waited a week to make the candy and actually ate a bag of it BEFORE I could make the chocolates…. haha I had to go out and buy a new bag *_* The Melon and Strawberry was also very sweet and creamy, the flavor of those was very sweet though so I used it more to decorate in the end

  • Custom avatar Cristan Lamb:

    I am envious! Your chocolates turned out so cute! I adore all of the cute packaging.

  • Custom avatar Mandii:

    Oh wow so cute :)

  • Good job baby cakes! You did amazing. I have to say, the little molds were a lot better to eat. The bigger molds were a bit too much. But then again, chocolates can never be too big ^^

  • Lovin’ the new blog! Can’t wait to see it finished. I have really been enjoying all the post so far. Have you though about doing any videos to supplement your writing and photos?

    • Elle:

      Thank you so much <3 I still have not officially finished the blog, but I figured I would at least open it up so I can get some of you in here since I semi-posted a lot haha. I actually invested in a camera and lighting to webcam things, but the mic is horrid so if I do it will be a little later when I can replace that *_* I’m open to it though since it seems like so many people vlog vs blog atm

  • Liz – I am so impressed by these!! Super cute packaging too. I love this post!

    • Elle:

      Thank you Kelsea! This is my first proper finished post I think, so I am hoping to have many more like this XD god willing anyway! haha hope all is well with you hun!

  • Wow these are really cute and inspire me to give it ago next year. Though I may have to order kits offline or go to into the city to the only Daiso store in the whole country. We aren’t big on holidays here unless it involves a day off. XD
    I think I’ll do the same for easter next year too.
    Its great to see how far you’ve come since the days when I found you on Deviantart. Congrats.

  • Custom avatar Pony:

    Please write out more Korean phrases! I’ve been writing to my Korean penpal and love to include them, these are very useful!

  • Custom avatar Nicole:

    How did you order off of the ihappytime website? It was all in Korean when I went on but I really want to order some stuff from there.

    • Elle:

      Sorry Nicole, if it is is all Korean you will most likely have to use a shopping service (just google korean shopping service for some) to help you buy things. In Korea they usually need a Korean bank account or transfer so it is very hard to buy internationally sadly!

  • you’re chocolate its so cuteeeee..

  • Custom avatar Cristy:

    hi! your chocolates are sooo freaking cute!
    I so wanna try this!
    do you know if there are any kits you can buy online?

  • Custom avatar siew sie:

    hi,can i know where can i buy chocolate mold?

    • Elle:

      Gmarket or ebay. In korea try bangsan market or daiso :)

    • Custom avatar siew sie:

      It have any website is cheap that gmarket?Because i want buy more and i also got 1 promble is dont understand Korea Word.i dont know how to buy all the chocolate mold~

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My name is Elle and I am an Illustrator & Gallery painter from California, but currently I am living in Seoul with my Korean Fiancé!

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