So last year on November 11 (that’s Pocky Day) I thought I was pretty clear in my explanation on what Pocky Day is. Apparently not clear enough, though. This year, it’s time to help you to make sense of this crazy, contrived, and television advertisement driven “holiday.” Personally, when it comes to made up holidays, though, I’m more of a Festivus kind of guy.
What Is Pocky Day?
First of all, what is Pocky? For those of you who don’t know, Pocky is a popular snack all around the world, but it’s probably most popular in Japan (since that’s where it comes from). When it comes to Japanese treats, though, these are the ones that you’ll see almost everywhere. Basically, they’re breadish / cookie-ish sticks with chocolate on them. You grab them by the un-chocolatey side and then start dancing.
There is one special day, though, where Pocky (supposedly) reigns as king of the snack world, and that day is “Pocky Day,” which lands on November 11 (11-11) because that date consists of a bunch of ones, which are, of course, shaped like Pocky. On 11-11 (Pocky Day) you are supposed to buy lots and lots of Pocky, or something, because that’s just what people do… or, that’s what the “It’s Pocky Day!” commercials suggest. Don’t even think about not assimilating with the Pocky Borg.
How “Pocky Day” Got Started
Strangely enough, Pocky Day was stolen, in a few different ways.
In Korea there is a snack called “Pepero,” which is basically just Pocky with a Korean name.
Pretty much what happened was that Lotte (who makes Pepero, first sold in 1983) pretty much ripped off Glico (who made Pocky since 1966). At least one thing came from Pepero in Korea, though, and that is “Pepero Day.” Apparently it is similar to Valentine’s day, and young couples exchange Lotte Pepero sticks, candies, and “romantic gifts.”
This created a strange Pepero vs Pocky situation for Glico. I guess to try and get Pepero back, the girls and gals at Glico said “Hey, Pepero’s making a ton of money in Korea from their Pepero day, let’s teach people to do that in Japan, too!”
As for the origins of “Pepero Day,” Wikipedia says that “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.” If that’s not a romantic start to this holiday, I don’t know what is.
Although “Pocky Day” is a thing in Japan, it’s had trouble getting as popular as Pepero Day. But Glico spent money on Pocky Day ads in Japan, and it’s been growing.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any Pocky to give to you (go to your local grocer and buy a box!). Instead of real Pocky, here are the best Pocky commercials on YouTube for you to enjoy. Although I may not eat Pocky on Pocky Day, I will enjoy these videos of other people eating Pocky for me. Yum.
Anata Mo Watashi Mo…
Pocky makes arranged marriages fun again
This one takes a really quick turn… for the better?
Holy Crap! So Retro!
Kind of reminds me of those weird Palm Pre commercials…
Another “Crap I Can’t Belive That Happened” Commercial
Yellow Magic Orchestra may have the most creative Pocky commercial
Pocky Day YouTubers
If anything is evidence that Pocky Day is finally taking off, it’s support from fans. And the most entertaining Pocky Day creations happen to be on YouTube. Here are a few of the most fun YouTube videos for your Pocky Day delight.
Hajime’s mannerisms and reactions are always funny. Make sure to keep an eye on the Pocky boxes on the wall.
This video shows you how to make a crepe out of Pocky.
Seikin eats a bunch of different types of Pocky. So you can inspired. Or jealous.
And finally, this. Quite possibly the crown jewel of Pocky Day celebration videos. Bravissimo.
How Will You Celebrate Pocky Day?
Whether you celebrate by dancing, singing, making, watching, playing the pocky game, or eating pocky, I hope you have a wonderful Pocky Day!
But seriously, eating Pocky is probably the best way to celebrate.