Kim Jong-in: From Year to Year
Before he was EXO’s Kai, or Kai the Main Dancer, he was Kim Jong-in, born in 1994. In Suncheon, South Jeolla Province, South Korea, on January 14th, 1994, a boy named Kim Jong-in was born. Since a young child, he already began his dancing by training in ballet after watching The Nutcracker in third grade. Little did he know, that he will grow up to become a versatile dancer in one of the hottest groups in the South Korean music industry.
As we can already sense, January 14th has become a very special day for EXO-L around the world, and of course, for Kai himself. Interested in knowing how Kai’s birthdays have been celebrated from year to year? Scroll down this article below!
Starting from 2013, the first year after EXO’s debut, Kai was celebrating his birthday with the fans and along with his groupmate whose birthday is just 2 days prior to him, D.O.
Together, they celebrated their birthdays with fans and shared photos taken at the event.
Kai shared his gratitude on the official SMTOWN board, “Hello this is the never-changing EXO-K’s Kai. How was the birthday party you had together with D.O. and me? Maybe it’s because it’s the first birthday party we had with you all since our debut, but at the beginning, I was so nervous, and towards the end, I was able to feel that I received lots of love. So I think it was a very happy time.”
“I thank all of the fans and everyone who came out. Um… I debuted when I was 19 years old and already a year has passed and I became 20 years old. Rather than saying that I will show a more mature side because I grew a year older, I will move forward and work hard day by day! Please anticipate Kai who continues to mature. Thank you once again for congratulating me and D.O. hyung’s birthday!!” he wrote excitedly, along with two pictures which include other EXO-K members.
In 2014, as EXO’s popularity was getting bigger and bigger, Kai’s fanbase was also getting stronger and stronger. Kai became one of the most popular members of the group due to his undeniable charisma on-stage.
This year, Kai’s fans started to get even bolder in celebrating their idol’s birthday.
Since January 12th, 2014, Kai’s fans from all over the world have been purchasing advertisements in the subway and on buses as a means of expressing their happy birthday wishes to their idol, even though his birthday was 2 days later.
These fans put up Kai’s pictures along with, “Miracle in January, happy birthday to EXO’s Kai!” and other similar messages that even included the same words in three different languages–showing how much Kai is loved globally.
A representative said, “You could call this an extreme illustration of EXO and Kai’s popularity. The fans’ methods of showing their support to their favorite stars are becoming more varied… However, we hope no young fans feel a financial burden to prepare a present for their fans or to publicize advertisements.”
Well, it’s love, mate. It is love.
This year, EXO’s Kai birthday was celebrated globally through the power of social media. On January 14th, 2015, Kai’s 22nd birthday dominated Twitter when fans around the world flooded celebratory tweets along with the hashtags #HappyKimJonginDay and #HappyKaiDay.
Kai’s name was trending no.1 worldwide.
We have made a choice of some celebratory tweets from fans:
— EXO Philippines (@EXOPhils) January 13, 2015
On top of that, there was also a special ‘fanboy’ that celebrated Kai’s birthday. That fan is none other than EXO’s Chanyeol aka Kai’s groupmate!
Chanyeol sent wishes to Kai through Instagram on January 14th, 2015, leaving fans quite teased as he wrote, “Although this is a photo where you’re putting on your pants, I feel like I’m going to be in trouble if I were to upload the entire photo, so I’ll just upload this much of it… Happy birthday, my dongsaeng Jongin-ah.”
That proved Chanyeol was the biggest Kai fanboy kkk.
Same as the year before, Kai’s biggest ‘fanboy’ was among the first that celebrated his birthday excitedly.
Prior to Kai’s birthday, EXO’s Chanyeol uploaded his “Happy Birthday” conversation with groupmate D.O. On January 14th, 2016, he uploaded a similar conversation with Kai the birthday boy, who turned 23 in Korea.
Chanyeol wrote, “Happy birthday, Jongin [Kai’s birth name].” He continued, “I bet I’m the first because I’m going to send it at 11:59 p.m.” and then sent six messages in a row all saying “Happy Birthday,” until the last one finally time-stamped at 12:00 a.m.
The birthday boy Kai finally responded to his spam messages with a simple and cold, “O.”
Responding to Kai’s replies, Chanyeol wrote in the caption of the snapshot, “Aww, were you shy because I sent you lots of hearts? Hyung understands your beautiful, innocent mind. Haha, happy birthday.”
Kkk, these gimmicks and warm interactions are the reason we patiently wait for Kai’s birthday every year.
This year, Kai’s birthday was celebrated with a small exclusive party with fans in Sum Cafe SM Coexatrium, COEX Shopping Mall, Gangnam. The event took place on January 17th, 2016, three days after Kai’s birth date.
During the event, the fans could hear Kai’s thoughts and personal feelings on his birthday. There was even a surprise at the event when SHINee’s Taemin, one of Kai’s close friends and labelmates, called and congratulated him.
Same as the previous year, Kai held a small exclusive birthday party with fans on January 13th, 2018, at 5 PM KST at SM COEX Artium 5F. During that event, Kai sang and chatted with his fans.
His 24th birthday also dominated Twitter again with the hashtags #HappyKAIDay and #HappyJonginDay trending worldwide.
The following is a birthday wish for Kai sent by fans on Twitter.
“Happy birthday to our honey bear #happykaiday #kimjongbros,” said a netizen who uses the @cutekjdpics account.
— CHEN pics (@cutekjdpics) January 13, 2018
“I hope he can always be this happy ???? he deserves the world !! #HappyKAIDay,” said the @dailyjonginpics account user.
“Happy birthday to our best bear & K-Pop’s best dancer of this generation ??????????? I hope 2018 is an even better year for you, your eris are ready to continue walking this path with you! I love you so much Jonginnie ?? # HappyKaiDay,” wrote the @curlyminseok account.
“Happy Birthday Kim Jongin. ???????? ♥? Your passion for dancing, your determination, your kind heart, your unconditional love for EXO & EXO- L are a big inspiration for me. I wish for you to always be happy and healthy, Nini bear ???? ♥? #HappyKAIDay,” such a long greeting from @aiiminniie.
The year 2019 is the 3rd year in a row where Kai is celebrating his birthday with his fans.
SM Entertainment announced Kai would be celebrating his birthday with his fans. On their official site, SM Entertainment announced that Kai’s 25th birthday event would be taking place on January 13th, 2019, at [email protected] 5F SMTOWN THEATER.
Previously, EXO-Ls were desperately waiting for the official confirmation of the event with only a week left until his birthday. These concerns were due to the rumor that Kai’s birthday event was canceled after the reveal of his relationship with BLANKPINK’s Jennie.
— ɪɴᴛᴏᴋᴀɪ (@intokai) January 6, 2019
After the SM announcement, fans shared their excitement for the event. While fans in Korea shared their determination to be the lucky few that will succeed in purchasing the ticket, overseas fans shared their envy for the chance to be with Kai on his birthday.
The ticket for Kai’s birthday party costs 22,000 won its 932.72 in PH 😭😍💕
— Ky (@exoslatte) January 15, 2017
If i live in korea, i will go to kai birthday party. I will do anything to get that ticket. Poor me being i-exol 😑😑😑
— 🌻spring in my heart🌻 (@spring_rain04) January 3, 2018
Tickets were on sale from January 10th, 2019, through the Yes24 website.
Throughout the event, Kai had been warming EXO-L hearts, with his sweet gestures. From the very beginning of his party, Kai teased fans with his exceptional talent.
OMK LOVE SHOT+BITE RED ROSE pic.twitter.com/cPHVgGKl01
— 종인종대꼬 🦥S2 (@patarz) January 13, 2019
As the event progressed, the fan service got even better. Kai was even handing out good luck charms with a personal message to fans.
The message said, “EXO-L, this is a good luck charm! It has magic that will bring happy days for everyone. Take it out whenever you want to see it or miss me! EXO-L, I’ve loved you for a long time. You know that I love you, right? This is a message I am leaving to remember this happy day!”
And don’t forget all the cute interactions with fans!
Jongin’s adorable goodbye at his #BearDayParty
He’s so precious 😭❤️ 🐻
— ℓoey찬 🍒 (@kpoplover727) January 13, 2019
Wait, the surprises didn’t stop there. A few days before, Kai promised to celebrate his birthday with fans, even up until the end of the day. Later on the same day, he took to his social media to do a live stream with fans, thanking them for celebrating his birthday and also those who can’t come.
Jongin: i had so much fun today, sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo~ much fun pic.twitter.com/iILQRD9stT
— 종인종대꼬 🦥S2 (@patarz) January 13, 2019
— into KAI ∞ Jongin (@intokai) January 13, 2019
190112 ig live #HAPPYKAIDAY
moongyu came over because it’s jongin’s birthday but jongin said “go away” because he has to do ig live with eris 😅😅 (it’s ok moongyu came to dinner!!)#KAI #KIMTIMOTEO #PADDINGFRIENDS
— paddingfriends (@paddingfriends) January 13, 2019
the way he celebrates his special day with us speaks volume. his undying love for exo-ls & erigoms makes my heart sob.
— eka loves exo (@hurricanebae) January 13, 2019