On November 11th, 2011, in Korea, it was known as Pepero Day in honor of Korea’s version of the Pocky sticks. They’re generally long and thin biscuits covered in some sort of sweet, sugary chocolate/frosting. Of course, there are several varieties out there and though Pocky hosts a lot more flavors, Pepero’s selection isn’t all that bad because it means I’ll eat less (or that’s the idea). There are the giant Pepero sticks the length of your forearm (this may depend on how long your forearm is but for the sake of visualising it, however long your forearm is is how long this particular snack is), the waffle-based kinds, the ones studded with almonds or peanuts, the strawberry flavored type, as well as Nude Pepero – which is my favorite. Nude Pepero is basically a hollow biscuit tube filled with chocolate.
What I never got was how 11.11.11 could be seen as a good. That has got to be too many ‘ones’ to be good. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just the start of bad things to come or something. Interestingly enough, that day’s lesson was also on page 111. It’s got to be a coincidence, right? Either way, nothing went bad that day, but I’m just saying; there’s way too many ones. Even so, I do see how Pepero and the abundance of ‘ones’ goes hand in hand.
Anyway, like many other holidays – just like the ones in the States – it’s said to be merely a commericialised holiday on part of Lotte, the brand behind Pepero. It makes sense, right? I mean, it works. Most candy is bought for Halloween in the States and just like how Valentine’s Day is a day for giving sweets to friends and lovers (and even classmates) alike, Pepero Day is like that as well. People give their significant others Pepero, friends give friends Pepero, and classmates give teachers and classmates Pepero. It’s sort of like another Valentine’s Day, but with Pepero. (I’d like to note that perhaps Pepero isn’t mandatory, as Fitz had a box of French macarons from a rather famous bakery called Sungsimdang hand-delivered to my school on this day.) However, in order to prevent the growth rate of obese kids to further increase
(something America should start doing, in my opinon), some schools have tried to implement Garaeddeok Day (or Rice Cake Day), in an effort to promote the sale and intake of rice cakes on Pepero Day. My such school is one of them and the distribution of Pepero was rather on the down low. However, I did spot Pepero wrappers here and there.
And so, I leave you with one reason behind the beginning of Pepero Day as well as some more pictures of said confectionery sweets:
According to one story, Pepero Day was started in 1994 by students at a girls’ middle school in Busan, where they exchanged Pepero sticks as gifts to wish one another to grow “as tall and slender as a Pepero”.