South Korea has many unique holidays that no other countries in the world celebrate. One of these holidays is Cucumber Day!
Cucumber day takes place on May 2nd and is a day that promotes the consumption of the fruit in South Korea. The holiday takes place on May 2nd since the number “05/02” is written the same way as the word “Cucumber” in Korean.
If you want to learn more about this fruit-appreciating holiday, keep reading!
What is Cucumber Day?
Cucumber Day is one of Korea’s many unofficial holidays that was established in order to raise awareness for the local cucumber industry in Korea. This was done to also raise funds for local cucumber farmers in South Korea as well!
When is Cucumber Day?
Cucumber Day takes place on May 2nd due to the spelling of the word cucumber coinciding with the spelling of the number 05/02 in Korean, as they are the same.
How do Koreans celebrate Cucumber Day?
Many Koreans will purchase cucumbers from local farmers for the holiday and make a variety of dishes such as Oi Muchim, or spicy cucumber salad, cucumber kimchi, and many more.
Also, cucumbers can be found as a garnish on many different Korean dishes, or even as an ingredient. Some of the dishes that cucumbers can be found in include; gimbap, jjajangmyeon, and naengmyeon.
One other thing that is worth mentioning about the fruit is that many Koreans either love it, or hate it with a burning passion.
Whether it’s the texture, the shape, the smell, or the taste of the cucumber, it has been a popular debate among many Koreans, with many kpop idols even voicing their hatred of the fruit, including SVT’s Seungkwan, EXO’s Baekhyun, and TWICE’s Momo.
How did it start?
Cucumber Day was established by the Rural Development Administration in South Korea in order to encourage Koreans to consume more of the fruit.
By promoting Cucumber Day, they would simultaneously be able to raise funds for their local cucumber farmers, as well as make people more interested in eating and using the fruits in a variety of dishes, which is why you can find cucumber as a garnish on many traditional Korean dishes.
What is Oi Muchim (오이무침)?
Oi Muchim, or Korean spicy cucumber salad, is a popular summer side dish, or banchan, made with ingredients like scallions, garlic, sesame oil, gochugaru, and of course, cucumbers!
With “Oi” meaning “cucumber” in English, and “muchim” meaning “mixed” or “seasoned,” many Koreans will call this cucumber salad “seasoned cucumber.”
This dish is fairly easy to make, as you just have to chop up the cucumber, add in all of your ingredients and seasonings, and mix!
Check out the video below for an easy recipe for Oi Muchim!
There are also many ways to enjoy this Korean spicy cucumber salad, whether you eat it straight out of the bowl after mixing, or enjoy it on top of rice or your favorite noodles.
Let us know how you plan on celebrating Cucumber Day in the comments below!
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With the Hallyu wave spreading worldwide, and Korean food becoming more popular in other countries, it is important to learn more about the holidays and traditions celebrated in South Korea that contribute to its rich history, such as Cucumber Day!
So whether you are looking to try out new Korean snacks to bring to your Cucumber Day celebration, or just looking to see what types of snacks are popular in Korea, you can check out The Daebak Company’s one-stop shop for popular Korean snacks and sweets!