|pepero almond sticks photo by Evan-Amos|
The holiday is observed mostly by young people and couples, who exchange Pepero sticks, other candies, and romantic gifts. Lotte denies starting the holiday and instead states that they noticed a bump in Pepero sales around November 11th and after continued popularity they decided to then encourage the holiday with special gift boxes and other promotions. Some consider it to be a contrived holiday and some teachers have encouraged children to exchange healthy snacks to help combat obesity. An alternative "Garaetteok Day" (sticks of white tteok) has been proposed.
According to one story, Pepero Day was started in 1994 by students at a girls' middle school in Busan, where they exchanged Pepero sticks as gifts to wish one another to grow "as tall and slender as a Pepero".
As of 2007, it was sold in 10 different flavors:
- Regular or Chocolate
- Almond Chocolate
- Nude (chocolate in the center)
- Nude Lemon Cheese
- "Woman in White" and "Man in Black" are slightly more "classy" brands of Pepero, and both have chocolate cookie bits scattered throughout the chocolate dip.
- Topic, a style similar to Japanese Toppo, also manufactured by Lotte.
resources: Official Pepero Site / wikipedia / gone-ta-pott.com /thefreedictionary.com
links: Pepero History / Pepero Day sweet for food retailers / Sth Korea calendar laden with love