Korean New Year also known as Seollal is a festival and national holiday that occurs in January or February depending on the second new moon after the winter solstice. It marks the first day of the Korean calendar and it is one of the most important traditional Korean holidays. This year Korean New Year falls on February 1. Seollal is a special Korean tradition and it is influenced by China based on the Lunar cycle. Each year represents a different animal and the cycle repeats every 12 years. The animal includes mouse, tiger, dragon, snake, sheep, dog, pig, rooster, horse, rabbit, ox, and monkey. It is a cultural holiday and it usually lasts for three days. These three days is the eve of the Korean New Year, the Korean New Year itself, and the day after the Korean New Year.
Is Korean New Year the Same as Chinese New Year?
Well, a lot of people ask this question a lot and the truth is that the Korean New Year is the Korean version of the Chinese New Year. It is usually celebrated in the same period as the Chinese New Year. Normally, they are celebrated on the same day except for rare cases where they fall a day apart. However, the Lunar calendar is also a determinant of this.
How Can I Wish Happy New Year in Korean?
Just like we say Happy New Year! On New Year days or New Year eve to friends and family, you can just say 새해 복 많이 받으세요 saehae bog manh-i bad-euseyo in Korean.
Why Do People Love Korean New Year?
There are lots of reasons why people love and celebrate Korean New Year. And it includes,
- Unity – Seollal brings lots of family together every year to practice their different traditions in the spirit of the day
- It is the time to pay respect – It is the time to pay respects to ancestors and family members. Lots of people visit the graves of their family members. The children also bow to their elders
- It is time of reflection and hope – It is time to mark the end of a year and the beginning of another new year. So, it is the time for high spirits, hope and reflection.
That is why a lot of people love to celebrate this day. It is generally the time to spend with family and loved ones and it is very special.
How to Celebrate Korean New Year
You want to celebrate the Korean New Year and you do not know how? Well, below are the common ways that you can celebrate the Korean new year
- Eat Korean dish – an amazing way to celebrate the Korean New Year is to eat the Korean food. The main dish that is considered comfort food during Korean new year is ‘Tteokguk’ (rice cake soup. It is culture for family to gather around and enjoy this meal.
- Play folk games – you can also celebrate by playing and participating in traditional folk games. The folk game is part of the New Year festivities for Korean. The most common game is ‘Yut Nori, a traditional board game
- Give gifts – send gifts to friends and family on Korean New Year Day. It is one of the best ways to celebrate the Korean New Year.
- Wear hanbok – a lot of people prefer wearing traditional clothing to celebrate this day. South Korean wear hanbok which has beautiful pattern and colors on it.
And so many others like hanging shoes, sebae the Korean bow, hanging strainers on the walls, and the worship ceremony. Korean New Year is always a day people look forward to every year.