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Black Day: Holiday for the Loveless

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Whether you love it or despise it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's Day. Then there's White Day on March 14th, when men who received chocolate buy sweets for women. Fewer people have heard of Sweetest Day, though, which is a holiday crafted by candy makers in the US for mid-October. Loved ones purchase candy and small gifts for each other on this day. But have you ever heard of Black Day?

Black Day is a uniquely Korean holiday. It was created in response to the overly sweet Valentine's Day and White Day. Like some other countries, Koreans have adopted the tradition of obligatory chocolate for both holidays. Women give chocolate not only to husbands or boyfriends, but to male coworkers, friends, and love interests on Valentine's Day. Men do the same for women on White Day. The amount of chocolate one receives gauges the popularity of the person.

Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless sympathize with one another. People who didn't receive any chocolate or gifts on either Valentine's Day or White Day wear black clothes. Black advertises their single status, and sort of offers the opportunity to meet similarly single men and women. People who celebrate Black Day also eat a noodle dish with black bean sauce, drink alcohol, and gripe about romance and love. There aren't any presents to buy. There aren't any unfulfilled hopes. Few people know about the holiday outside of Korea, and perhaps this is the best part about the day. It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its opposite counterparts in February and March.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "Valentine's Day" for 1 minute, then brainstorm words and ideas associated with "White Day" for 1 minute. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.

Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blank with the correct word.

  1. Whether you love it or (                         ) it, almost everyone around the world knows Saint Valentine's Day.
  2. Fewer people have heard of Sweetest Day, which is a holiday (                         ) by candy makers in the US.
  3. Black Day is a (                         ) Korean holiday.
  4. Koreans have (                         ) the tradition of other countries.
  5. They give (                         ) chocolate for Valentine's Day and White Day.
  6. The amount of chocolate one receives (                         ) the popularity of the person.
  7. Black Day, which falls on April 14th, lets the loveless (                         ) with one another.
  8. People eat a noodle dish with black bean sauce, drink alcohol, and (                         ) about romance and love.
  9. There aren't any (                         ) hopes.
  10. It hasn't been marketed and sold to the consumer like its opposite (                         ) in February and March.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. How do you feel about Black Day? Please explain.
  2. Will Black Day spread around the world and become a commercial holiday? Why/not?
  3. Does your country have any unique holidays? Please explain.
  4. What is a holiday, apart from possibly a day off from school or work?
  5. If you could create a new holiday, what would it celebrate? Please explain.

Google Search: Type "Black Day" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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