Read about the origin, history and celebration of New Year (Seollal) in Republic Of Korea.
Fundoo Times: Festivals: New Year: New Year in Republic Of Korea

New Year in Republic Of Korea

Origin and History of New Year in Republic Of Korea

Korean New Year is also known as Seollal (1st day of the lunar calendar). The event is considered as a family-oriented holiday. New Year is celebrated twice by several Korean communities. They observe the occasion according to both solar as well as lunar calendars. The day is celebrated at sunset on the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. Korean New Year is generally celebrated on the same day as the Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan and Vietnamese New Year. Seollal is considered as one of the traditional Korean festivals. Other important festivals include Daeboreum (the first full moon), Dano (spring festival), and Chuseok (harvest festival).

Local name: Seollal

Ways to celeberate Seollal in Republic Of Korea

On New Years Eve, Koreans wear traditional costume (Hanbok), conduct ancestor-memorial services and savor the traditional dish (Tteokguk). Children wish their parents ‘Saehae bok manhi badeseyo’ (which translates to ‘please receive many blessings in the new year’) by one deep traditional bow. Parents reward this gesture by presenting a red envelope (monetary gift) to their children. The day is spent by playing traditional games such as yut game, kite flying, top-spinning, jae gi cha gi skiing. Loud drums and gongs are played by the natives in order to ward off evil spirits of the previous year. Many Koreans welcome the New Year by visiting Gangneung and Donghae in the Gangwon province. These are famous Korean locations where one can see the first rays of the New Year's sun. It is a custom to stay awake on New Year’s Eve. It is believed that if anyone slept on that night their eyebrows would turn white.