Valentine’s Day is a day for people to express their love as sweet as chocolate. Although its origin is somewhat obscure, it is generally known that Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of St. Valentine who was martyred for performing clandestine weddings for men and women who were forbidden to marry during the Roman Era. Later, Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of The Canterbury Tales, published Parlement of Foules, and its lines “For this was on seynt Volantynys day / Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make” (For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate) became widely known. This led to the current celebrations of the anniversary day by giving a present to one’s beloved.
In Korea, however, no bird goes its separate way even after the Valentine’s Day. For there is also White Day.
Valentine’s Day is considered one of the most important events for sweethearts, and it requires a romantic event. What is different from the West is that in Korea only women express their love on that day. Then, one month later, on March 14, comes White Day, which is celebrated only in East Asian countries such as Korea and Japan.
That is when the reverse happens: men express their love and present candy to women. Of course, as chocolate is not the only gift presented on Valentine’s Day, candy alone is not enough for a present on White Day. Due to White Day celebrations, shops in Korea are busy until March, unlike in the West where shops and bakeries get most customers during Valentine’s Day season.
Which candy do Korean men buy to confess their love?
Fruit Flavored Candy, Love as Sweet as Fruit
No matter what, candy tastes best when it is sweet. There are a variety of fruit candies in the Korean market. Some candies use hallabong (a type of citrus, a specialty of Jeju province) or nuts. There are also apple flavored, strawberry flavored, and melon flavored candies.
Mok Candy, Love as Strong and Sharp as Peppermint
Mok candy (quince herb candy) has been a steady seller since it was first released in 1988. It protects the throat with propolis, quince extract, and herb extract. Extra herb flavor is also added. A piece of Mok Candy is enough to refresh the throat when you feel uncomfortable due to the yellow dust or a cold.
Cherry Maru, Love like Ice Cream
Cherry Maru is one of the most popular ice creams in Korea. Maru is a pure Korean word meaning “height” or “the best.”
Cherry Maru ice cream was made into candy. It contains cherry pulp as well as cherry syrup, so a piece of the candy fills the mouth with the sweetness of cherry.
My Chew, Soft Love
Soft candy with a unique chewy texture is gaining popularity in Korea these days. The sales increased by 22.2 percent in January thanks to many people making a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking. But among many different kinds, My Chew is the most popular.
It is made with natural colors and is a no-stick candy. Strawberry flavor and grape flavor are the two original types. In addition, several new flavors - yogurt, orange, lemon, and so on - have been released recently.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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