While those from another land may associate November 11th with Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day, in Japan this holiday is not quite so sombre and serious.
Due to the numbers 11/11 looking like four Pocky sticks standing in a line, in Japan November 11th is Pocky Day! It’s a day to celebrate the delicious snack that comes in a variety of flavours from Green Tea to Dark Chocolate. Incidentally, the holiday is known as Pepero Day in Korea. And therein the controversy begins.
Pocky was actually first released in 1966 by Glico to much popularity and favour.
Incidentally, South Korea’s Lotte introduced Pepero in 1983 to equally popular reception, only to be dogged by consistent copyright claims.
The plot thickens…
Pepero Day began in South Korea in 1983 as a way for friends to show each other their friendship, or in some cases love, similar to Valentine’s Day in the west. Also, exchanging Pepero was a symbol of solidifying your wish to become taller and thinner, like the snack. Sales skyrocketed, with Lotte making 50% of its annual sales on Pepero Day as recently as 2012.
Glico decided to introduce Pocky Day (and Pretz Day) in 1999, to allow friends to show each other their appreciation by gifting the delicious snacks to each other. Alas, it hasn’t been quite as popular as Pepero Day, but promotion efforts increase every year, as you can see with their crazy Twitter campaign.
Let’s face it, when else can you tell someone you like them discreetly with chocolate covered confections? Oh, yes. Valentine’s Day. But that is another story…
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Pocky flavors to date!
Dark Chocolate (Men’s) Pocky
White Chocolate Mousse Pocky
Almond Crush Pocky
Matcha (Green Tea) Pocky
Try some of the great flavours Pocky has to offer if you get the chance!