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Pepero Day: Fun Facts About Pepero Day in South Korea

Happy Pepero Day! By the way, what’s Pepero Day? For those who aren’t familiar with what Pepero Day is, it’s an unofficial day in South Korea that’s celebrated by exchanging boxes of Peperos.

Have you ever heard of Pepero? It’s a chocolate covered cookie stick that is long and slim. It looks similar to the letter “I” or the number 1. That’s why November 11th (11/11) is Pepero Day in South Korea. On this day, friends and couples give each other Pepero.

The Pepero is one of the most famous Korean snacks that you can buy at any supermarket or even online in South Korea. The price for one Pepero box ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 KRW. But be aware that this is a habit you can really get hooked on, as they release Pepero special editions from time to time, meaning you can’t miss out on new Peperos!

1. Origins: What is Pepero Day?

빼빼로데이 (ppaeppaerodei): Pepero Day

빼빼로 데이 (ppaeppaero dei) or “Pepero Day” originated back in the 1980s among school girls in Busan. The company that sells Pepero in South Korea—Lotte Confectionery—noticed that their sales increased significantly every November 11 in this area. Therefore, the company started investigating, and they learned that students from this region exchanged a box of Peperos as a wish to stay thin while teasing each other to 살 좀 빼자 (sal jom ppaeja), meaning, “Let’s lose some weight” in English.

The marketing team took this idea and started promoting Pepero day, and it became extremely well-known after 1996. However, no one really knows whether this is a true story or not, as there are many stories about the origin of Pepero Day.

Nevertheless, Pepero Day has become one of the most important days in South Korea, and it’s celebrated on November 11 every year. This is probably because Pepero is such a well-loved Korean snack (how could it not be?).

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

11월 11일은 ‘빼빼로데이입니다.
(sibirwolwol sibirileun ‘ppyaeppaerodei’ imnida.)
“11th of November is ‘Pepero Day’.”

이 날은 사람들이 빼빼로삽니다.
(i nareun saramdeuri ppaeppaeroreul saseo.)
“People buy Pepero on this day.”

빼빼로데이는 감사를 전하고 싶은 사람들에게 나눠주는 날입니다.
(gamsareul jeonhago sipeun saramdeurege nanwojuneun narimnida.)
Pepero day is a day to show your appreciation to the people.”

빼빼로 데이에 사람들은 빼빼로를 선물로 줍니다.
(ppaeppaero deie saramdeureun ppaeppaeroreul seonmullo jumnida.)
“On Pepero Day, people give Pepero as a present to the other people and eat it.”

빼빼로 데이에는 상점 밖에서 빼빼로를 파는 곳이 많이 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun sangjeom bakkeseo ppaeppaeroreul paneun gosi mani itsseumnida.)
“There are lot of places selling Pepero outside the shop on Pepero Day.”

2. Modern Pepero Day: What to do on Pepero Day

Pepero Day is supposed to be fun and is a great opportunity to show your appreciation to people you care about. It can be your friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse, or even your colleagues and your boss. It’s literally just a day to share your appreciation with those around you, while having a good time in sharing a box of Pepero with those around you.

Pepero Day is practiced a few different ways, depending on age groups.

Children (elementary school) give and receive Pepero to their friends, teachers, and family members. Just as children do on Valentines Day, children give and receive Pepero just for the sake of exchanging sweets.

However, for those a little older (and for those with a bit more courage), Pepero Day is a day in which Pepero is given to girlfriends and boyfriends. It is also a day in which many people (typically teenagers) tend to confess their love to someone. The similarities between Pepero Day and Valentine’s Day are quite numerous. But the difference between the two is that instead of exchanging chocolates, people exchange Pepero. Also, Valentine’s Day is observed by people of all ages, whereas Pepero Day is mostly observed by younger people.

Because this is a highly commercialized day in Korea, many stores sell Pepero and other cheaper brands of the same type of cookie in bulk. There are large displays of Pepero and similar snacks at supermarkets on the days leading up to Pepero Day. Other venues try to cash in on this day as well. As an example: bakeries will sell long loaves of bread covered in chocolate (something that resembles a stick of Pepero). Other places will make elaborate packages filled with various types of Pepero, which can get quite expensive.

All you need to do is go to a supermarket in your area and buy boxes of Peperos. Then you can simply give it to a friend or write a short message to show your appreciation. Don’t have paper you can use? Don’t worry; there’s a small space (normally an image of a letter is printed on top of the box) for you to write a short message in.

Also, on this special day, you can’t miss out on Lotte’s special promotion. There will be a variety of Pepero flavors and packaging, which will be discussed in detail in the “Trend: Variety of Pepero Flavors in South Korea” section below. On this special day, don’t miss out on getting a variety of Pepero. It’s the only day that you’ll get to see so many different kinds of Pepero.

Keep in mind that you can purchase Pepero in-store from several supermarkets, or even buy Pepero online!

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로는 친구, 가족, 남자친구 아니면 여자친구, 부부, 그리고 직장동료매니저에게도 줄 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaeroneun chingu, gajok, namjachingu animyeon yeojachingu, bubu, geurigo jikjangdongnyowa maenijeoegedo jul su itseumnida.)
“You can give a Pepero to your friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse, and even to your colleagues and your boss.”

빼빼로 상자 감사편지쓸 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero sangja wie gamsaui pyeonjireul sseul su itseumnida.)
“You can write a ‘Thank you’ letter on top of a Pepero box.”

사랑을 고백하고 싶으면 빼빼로를 주세요.
(sarangeul gobaekago sipeumyeon ppaeppaeroreul juseyo.)
“If you want to confess your love, give Pepero.”

빼빼로 데이에는 많은 사람들이 빼빼로를 주고 받습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun maneun saramdeuri ppaeppaeroreul jugo batsseumnida.)
“A lot of people exchange Pepero on Pepero Day.”

3. Trend: Different Flavors of Pepero in South Korea

Now, let’s have a look at different Peperos flavors—you’ll be amazed how many different kinds of Pepero flavors are available in South Korea. They usually come in two sizes: thin Pepero or big Pepero. If you’re not familiar with any of these Pepero flavors, click on the link to check out pictures of that Pepero.

Chocolate Pepero

1 - 초코 빼빼로 (choko ppaeppaero) — Original Chocolate Pepero

This is the classic Pepero which was introduced in the April of 1983 and this is the symbol of Pepero as we know it today.

2 - 아몬드 빼빼로 (amondeu ppaeppaero) — Almond Pepero

This was released on of March 26, 1984. People who love almond buy this. However, one downside about this Pepero is that there are only nine sticks inside the package (talk about a bummer!). Nevertheless, this Almond Pepero is loved by many almond and chocolate lovers.

3 - 코코넛 빼빼로 (kokoneot ppaeppaero) — Chocolate Coconut Pepero

Similar to the Almond Pepero, this Pepero is covered in coconut chips. It’s loved by many coconut lovers in South Korea.

4 - 땅콩 빼빼로 (ttangkong ppaeppaero) — Peanut Pepero

This is the Pepero that’s known for, of course, being covered in peanuts. Although this was released in 1996, Lotte does not produce Peanut Pepero anymore.

5 - 누드 빼빼로 (nudeu ppaeppaero) — Nude Pepero

The classical Pepero is a cookie stick dipped in chocolate—the Nude Pepero is the reverse version, where the chocolate is inside and the cookie outside.

6 - 더블딥 초코 화이트 빼빼로 (deobeuldip choko hwaiteu ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Choco White Pepero

This one’s a Pepero that’s dipped in a mix of Kakao cream and whipped cream; it was introduced in 2000. Fun fact: Unlike other rectangular Pepero boxes, this Pepero is in a square box.

7 - 다크 빼빼로 (dakeu ppaeppaero) — Dark Pepero

For dark chocolate lovers. The cookie stick on this Pepero flavor is even darker than it is on others.

8 - 바닐라 블랙 쿠키 빼빼로 (banilla beullaek kuki ppaeppaero) — Vanilla Black Cookie Pepero

This flavor is composed of Pepero sticks dipped in white chocolate and covered with cookie pieces.

9 - 스키니 빼빼로 (seukini ppaeppaero) — Skinny Pepero

This is a “skinny” version of the classic chocolate Pepero. This was introduced in 2013.

10 - 더블딥 딸기 빼빼로 (deobeuldip ttalgi ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Strawberry Pepero

The length of this Pepero is shorter and wider than the original Pepero, and it’s dipped in strawberry-flavored cream.

11 - 초코쿠키 빼빼로 (chokokuki ppaeppaero) — Choco Cookie Pepero

This was introduced in 2015. The Pepero stick is covered with cookie.

12 - 블루베리 요거트 빼빼로 (beulluberi yogeoteu ppaeppaero) — Blueberry Yogurt Pepero

This was introduced in 2015 as well. Unfortunately, beginning in 2017, Lotte doesn’t produce this flavor anymore.

13 - 누드 녹차 빼빼로 (nudeu nokcha ppaeppaero) — Nude Green Tea Pepero

Favored by women in general, this Nude Green Tea Pepero was introduced to the market in 2016.

14 - 더블딥 카페라떼 빼빼로 (deobeuldip kaperatte ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Cafe Latte Pepero

The length is shorter and wider than the original Pepero. It goes well with a cup of coffee.

15 - 더블딥 요거트 빼빼로 (deobeuldip yogeoteu ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Yogurt Pepero

The length is shorter and wider than the original Pepero. It tastes like you’re eating some sweet white yogurt with cookies.

16 - 스키니 카카오 빼빼로 (seukini kakao ppaeppaero) — Skinny Cacao Pepero

This is a “skinny” Pepero version of Skinny Cacao Pepero mentioned above.

17 - 누드 치즈 빼빼로 (nudeu chijeu ppaeppaero) — Nude Cheese Pepero

18 - 카카오닙스 빼빼로 (kakaonipseu ppaeppaero) — Cacao Nibs Pepero

Strawberry Pepero

19 - 딸기 빼빼로 (ttalgi ppaeppaero) — Strawberry Pepero

20 - 불고기 빼빼로 (bulgogi ppaeppaero) — Bulgogi Pepero

We’re sure you want to buy this one out of curiosity, but unfortunately South Korea stopped selling this flavor in 1997.

21 - 티라미스 치즈 빼빼로 (tiramiseu chijeu ppaeppaero) — Tiramisu Cheese Pepero

22 - 화이트 쿠키 빼빼로 (hwaiteu kuki ppaeppaero) — Pepero White Cookie

This flavor is basically a mixture of cookies and cream.

And the list goes on… It seems that Lotte introduces new Peperos flavors every year, so keep an eye out for them on November 11! But what’s the best Pepero flavor? Well, that’s for you to decide, so try as many as you’d like.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로데이에는 여러 종류빼빼로맛 볼 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun yeoreo jongnyuui ppaeppaeroreul mat bol su itseumnida.)
“You can taste different kinds of Peperos on Pepero day.”

상대좋아하는 빼빼로사서 선물해 보세요.
(sangdaega joahaneun ppaeppaeroreul saseo seonmulhaeboseyo.)
“Try to buy Pepero flavor that your partner likes and give it to him/her.”

빼빼로 데이에 가장 인기있는 빼빼로는 초콜릿 맛 빼빼로입니다.
(ppaeppaero deie gajang ingiinneun ppaeppaeroneun chokollit mat ppaeppaeroimnida.)
“The most popular Pepero on Pepero Day is the chocolate flavored Pepero.”

4. Pepero Day Ideas: Different Ways to Celebrate the Day

On Pepero Day, you don’t have to buy Pepero; you can create your own tradition or even make your own Pepero for the special people in your life. Let’s have a look at a few different ways that Koreans celebrate Pepero Day.

1- Are You in a Relationship? Make DIY Pepero

DIY (Do It Yourself) Pepero is very popular among women, especially those who are in a relationship. If you’re not much of a cook, it may seem time-consuming and challenging. But fortunately, you can easily purchase DIY Pepero kits online and get them delivered to your house; there are also many shops where you can purchase the tools and Pepero ingredients you need to make Pepero.

Be creative and make your own Pepero to impress your boyfriend and your father while showing them your appreciation. Here’s an article to give you an idea of how Koreans make Peperos. It even comes with a Pepero recipe inside.

If you’re not a fan of cooking on a special day, there are many gift packages that you can choose from as well, such as the Pepero big box (Peperos packed in an over-sized Pepero box).

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about DIY Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

많은 여성 들이 빼빼로직접 만들어 선물합니다.
(maneun yeoseong bundeuri ppaeppaeroreul jikjeop mandeureo seonmulhamnida.)
“Many women make their own Pepero and give it out as gifts.”

빼빼로데이사랑을 고백하는 입니다.
(ppaeppaero deineun sarangeul gobaekaneun narimnida.)
“Pepero Day is the day that you confess your love.”

2- Not a Fan of Pepero? Pepero with Rolled Up Cash

Korean Money Pepero

Not everyone is a fan of Pepero. For example, if you know someone who’s very health-conscious, then it could be a challenge for you determining what to give as a gift to them on Pepero Day.

Recently, a new Pepero Day gift idea developed a few years ago, and has become extremely popular. Instead of Pepero, you roll up cash to resemble a stick, and put these rolls in a rectangular box. It’s called 돈 빼빼로 (donppaeppaero), literal translation being “Money Pepero.”

This may be an expensive gift, but the person who receives it will absolutely love it (we promise!). Popular cash Pepero receivers are parents or other family members. Do you want to know how to make it? Click here for a DIY blog post.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about paper with rolled up cash:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로 대신 주는 사람있습니다.
(ppaeppaero daesin doneul juneun saramdo itseumnida.)
“There are people who give money instead of Pepero.”

부모님좋아할 선물일 수도 있겠습니다.
(bumonimi joahal seonmuril sudo itgetseumnida.)
“It may be a great gift for the parents.”

3- Appreciate the Tradition? Let’s Celebrate “Garaetteok Day”

On November 11, we celebrate 가래떡 데이 (garaetteok dei), literal translation being “Korean Rice Cake Day.” Instead of Pepero, you pass out long cylindrical rice cakes to people. 가래떡 데이 (garaetteok dei) is 농업인의 날 (nongeobinui nal), literal translation being “Farmer’s Day” in South Korea. 가래떡 is made of steamed rice flour and it’s seen in many dishes, such as 떡꼬치 (Tteokkkochi) or “Spicy Fried Korean Rice Cake Sticks,” 떡국 (tteokguk) or “sliced rice cake soup,” 떡볶이 (Tteok-bokki) or “stir-fried rice cakes,” and so on. It’s a great way to appreciate the tradition and celebrate Farmer’s Day on November 11.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Garaetteok Day:

11월 11일은 농업인의 날입니다.
(sibirwolwol sibirileun nongeobinui narimnida.)
“It is ‘Farmer’s Day’ on November 11.”

이날은 가래떡을 사람들에게 나눠주는 날입니다.
(inareun garaetteogeul saramdeurege nanwojuneun narimnida.)
“On this day, people give out Korean rice cakes.”

4- Love Playing Games? Try Pepero Games

You can play a Pepero game with Pepero sticks in South Korea. Do you want to know how to play this? It’s very simple.

Think of the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp. The Pepero game is very similar to this. It’s called the “Pepero kiss game” where two people need to eat a Pepero together to make the shortest possible leftover in the middle. To win, you need to make sure to have the shortest Pepero stick possible, compare to other groups. Still not sure how to play this game? Watch this EXO Pepero kiss game.

Speaking of EXO, there used to be Pepero EXO Limited Edition in South Korea, and fans could collect the EXO Pepero box set along with a photocard of each member.

5. How to Say “Happy Pepero Day” in Korean

Here are a number of Pepero Day quotes in Korean. You can write these messages and give a box of Pepero to your acquaintances.

빼빼로데이 축하해요!
(ppaeppaerodei chukahaeyo!)
“Happy Pepero Day!”

맛있는 빼빼로 먹고 행복 가득한 하루보내세요.
(masinneun ppaeppaero meokgo haengbok gadeukan harubonaeseyo.)
“Please eat these delicious Pepero and have a day full of happiness.”

빼빼로 처럼 길~게 사랑하자!
(ppaeppaero cheoreom gil~ge saranghaja!)
“Let’s be together for a long time like these Pepero sticks.”

6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

Pepero Day is one of the most popular days in South Korea, so we’re glad to introduce Pepero Day in detail in this blog post. We hope you found this article interesting, and if you want to learn essential vocabulary about Pepero, KoreanClass101 has the “Korean Vocabulary List - Pepero Day” available for free. We also have a number of Korean lessons based on Pepero Day, so feel free to check them out on our website as well.

Lastly, what’s your favorite Pepero flavor? Leave a comment below!