Pepero Day is all about these little slender cookie sticks that are usually dipped in chocolate, called Pepero (빼빼로). They're a direct knock-off of the same idea in Japan, called Pocky. Sometime after Pocky came out, the Korean brand Lotte decided to make their own version and Koreans (or at least my kindergarteners) will correct you you mistake Pepero for Pocky. Then, in a brilliant marketing move, Lotte decided to create an entire holiday based on these delicious little snacks and Pepero Day was born.
Pepero Day is on 11-11 because the date looks like four sticks of Pepero. Now, if you think Valentine's Day is a horrible commercial holiday designed to sell chocolate, than Pepero Day is even worse. People, especially couples, are supposed to buy Pepero to give to one another to show how much they care. According to the trusty wikipedia, Lotte makes over half of their annual Pepero sales on November 11.
There are tons of varieties of Pepero, from chocolate to strawberry to white chocolate, and they're so cheap and delicious! It's around a buck for a box. My favorites are the almond chocolate sticks and the "nude" sticks with chocolate on the inside (hehe... naked Peperos).
They sell lots (LOTS) of different sizes of Pepero on Pepero Day that they don't usually have in stores. There are also miscellaneous (OH MY GOSH I SPELLED THAT RIGHT ON THE FIRST TRY) knock-off brands, which is ironic since Pepero is a Pocky knock-off to start with.
I, for one, was really excited about Pepero Day! I usually get little gifts (like coffee!) from my students when we have field trips or after they come home from a vacation somewhere (I've gotten more Jeju orange chocolate than I'll ever eat), so I figured I'd be rolling in chocolate covered cookie sticks around November 11, but noooooo. November 11 fell on a Sunday. I didn't get any Pepero on Friday, but I was kinda holding out hope that I'd receive some on Monday. No such luck.
Little punks. My students must not love me at all. Or they forgot. They are kinders, after all (but I'm gonna go with the 'they don't love me' angle anyway).
We have a field trip this Friday... they might redeem themselves if they bring enough coffee. Until then... no stickers, kids. That'll show 'em.
Here's a video from Simon and Martina at Eat Your Kimchi that gives you a glimpse of how awesome Pepero are.
I know... now you want to sword fight with them, too, right? ...Expecto Patronus!