I love Valentine’s Day. This year, I spent the holiday on the world’s most amazing vacation with my boyfriend at The Four Season’s Langkawi complete with an infinity pool, a private villa, a couple’s massage, a private outdoor bathtub and a lot of monkeys. It was the most (most, most, most) romantic thing I’ve ever experienced, especially the burgers and beers we ate on the beach after our fancy dinner plans fell through.
But as amazing as this year’s celebration was, it’s not the real reason why I love the February 14th holiday so much. Romantic or not, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to tell the people you love just how much you love them with flowers, chocolate and really cheesy cards (shoutout to my college BFF and 6-year-old nephew for being my #foreverValentines and favorite people to binge on Godiva’s with). I’ve always secretly thought it was a shame that it only happens once a year, because I think the people I love deserve to be pampered all day, every day… especially when it means eating heart shaped cupcakes together. As it turns out, I’ve come to the right place — In Asia, there is a version of Valentine’s day ONCE A MONTH.
As if we needed even more of a reason to be obsessed with Korean culture (don’t even get me started on the beauty products), in South Korea, the 14th of each month is a day is considered a “holiday for love.” Which means that there are 12 different opportunities to show someone how much you love them with questionably over-the-top, but indisputably adorable, gestures. I’m not totally sure where this practice originated — It mayyyy have been the plot of a kitschy card company — but whatever. I’m into it.
Technically, the holidays are meant for couples, but considering most of them involve drinking wine, giving hugs and taking cute Instagram photos, they can really work for any type of lovers (family, friends, cats… you get the idea) See below for all the info you need and mark your calendars from now through 2018. Love is love, and we should take any excuse we can to celebrate it.
…. And if you’re looking for a Valentine for the year, I’ll happily nominate myself.
January 14th- Diary Day
At the beginning of the year, diaries or daily planners are exchanged between lovers with important dates (like birthdays and anniversaries) already recorded in them… just in case.
February 14th- Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day in South Korea is pretttty similar to what it is in the west, except for one major difference: Women are the only one’s giving gifts (FYI- I got my boyfriend J a drone this year, and it was a hit.)
March 14th- White Day
The following month, it’s the ladies’ turn, and men give gifts to women… I wonder if I should write this down in J’s diary to remind him
April 14th- Black Day
This one is a little depressing… On this day in April, people who are unattached mourn their singlehood over black bean sauce and noodles. IMHO, this should be changed to “single women put on hot black dresses and celebrate their independence” while eating noodles, which thankfully is becoming more a part of modern tradition than it has been in the past.
May 14th- Rose Day
There are three ways Rose Day can go for couples: A red rose means it’s the real thing, a white rose means the relationship is “under consideration” and a yellow rose means “goodbye.” At least getting dumped with a rose is better than getting dumped on a post-it?
June 14th- Kiss Day
Smooches for everyone!!!!!
July 14th- Silver Day
Not only are silver gifts exchanged (seriously, I am digging how many gifts these holidays produce) but July 14th is also the day that people take their significant other’s home to meet their families. There’s no pressure when everyone’s doing it at the same time, right?
August 14th- Green Day
This day is about love for the environment and people, which basically means you HAVE to spend the day having sex outdoors.
September 14th- Photo Day
Instagram a picture with someone you love, preferably a selfie. And yes, your dog definitely counts.
October 14th- Wine Day
Couples drink wine together. Single people drink wine alone. Basically, everyone just drinks wine. This is basically just another day in the life, but I like the idea of calling it a holiday as an excuse to splurge for a $$$ bottle.
November 14th- Movie Day
Watch a movie with your loved one… Bonus points if you let them pick.
December 14th- Hug Day
Give your loved one, and any and everyone you come across, a “hug to chase away the winter blues.”