Artisan Chocolate in South Korea
Here's a neat site I found about how different countries celebrate Valentines Day around the world.
Interestingly, the custom of Korean girls giving chocolates to men on Valentines day has it's origins in Japan.
In Japan, Valentine's Day is celebrated on two different dates...February 14 and March 14. On the first date, the female gives a gift to the male and on the second date...known as White Day and supposedly introduced by a marshmallow company in the 1960s...the male has to return the gift he received on February 14. Thus, strictly speaking, a Japanese female has the luxury of actually choosing her own gift. Chocolate is the most popular gift in Japan. However, since most Japanese females believe that store-bought chocolate is not a gift of true love, they tend to make the confection with their own hands.
The traditional gift of candy takes place in Korea on February 14, but only from females to males. There is another special day for males to give gifts to females and this is celebrated on March 14. Very similar to the custom in Japan, March 14 in Korea is known as "White Day." On "White Day," many young men confess their love for the first time to their sweethearts. For those young people who have no particular romantic partners, the Koreans have set aside yet another date...April 14, also known as "Black Day." On that date, such individuals get together and partake of Jajang noodles, which are black in color, hence the name of the day."
What this article leaves out is that on March 14, in return for the gifts of chocolate, the men give gifts of hard candy. HARD CANDY...boo. It doesn't seem to be a fair trade for chocolate. I think this is why Korea had to designate April 14th as black day. The boys who gave their ladies hard candies were kicked to the curb out of disappointment.