Most people in Korea and outside the country who are interested in anything Korean knows that 11.11 or November 11th is PEPERO DAY. Did you know that before Pepero Day, farmers have been celebrating this date as their own? So 11.11 is also Farmer’s Day here in Korea.
11.11 surely looks like 4 Pepero sticks, but how did 11.11 come to be celebrated as Farmers’ Day?
The Chinese character for 11 is
while the character for earth or soil is
So the number 11 when combined looks like the character for soil or earth. And we all know that farmers work the soil or earth.
Farmers’ Day in Korea started in 1964 in the city of Wonju in Gangwondo. From 2003, the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs has designated 11.11 or November 11th as “kare deok” day (Hangeul: 가래떡 데이) ~ 가래떡 or “kare deok” is the long rice cake that people love to eat roasted and dipped in honey. The government has been trying to promote this day as such instead of the Pepero that children like. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has also adopted this event to celebrate Farmers’ Day.
The long sticky rice cake called “kare deok” looks like this:
It is good eaten as it is… but I prefer mine roasted and then dipped in honey!
Others dress their rice cake like so:
If you’re tired of Pepero, give this long sticky rice cake a try and celebrate the day for people who till the land so you and I can have veggies and crops on our tables.
Happy Farmers’ Day Korea!
P.S. 11.11 is celebrated as Singles’ Day in China 🙂