Why March 3 is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea?

Samgyeopsal is thick and fatty slices of pork belly meat which is a popular Korean dish. March 3rd is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea in every year and it started in 2003. This is because the word “Sam” in Samgyeopsal has similar pronunciation with 3(Sam in Korean) and March 3rd has two 3.

You can check how to pronounce Numbers in Korean in here.

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There are few origins about the Samgyeopsal day starts and the two reasons are most persuasive.

1. To promote the consumption

Early 2000s foot-and-mouth disease occurred in Korea and spread in the country rapidly. 12 percent of the entire domestic pig were slaughtered to ensure the disease would not spread further. After that, the Korea livestock association started March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day to promote the pork consumption.

2. One call from the elementary student

One of the elementary student called the Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives and said “March 3rd(3월 3일 pronounce Sam woul Sam il in Korean) is similar with Samgyeopsal and eating samgyeopsal in 3/3 will be more delicious! Let’s make March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day”. Then the livestock employee posted this idea in internet and the responses were good that it started.

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I’m not sure which origin is true, but it is obvious that Samgyeopsal day promoted the Samgyeopsal consumption. Statistically in Korea Samgyeopsal is sold 3~5 times more than other days in Samgyeopsal Day and also many big supermarkets(e-mart, Lotte mart, Homeplus) are doing discount event in March 3rd.

Thanks for reading.:)