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Korean New Year

20 Jan

Korean New Year

Korean New Year (Seollal) is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year’s Day. Koreans also celebrate solar New year’s day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. The Korean New Year holiday lasts three days, and is considered a more important holiday than the solar New Year’s Day.

The term “Seollal” generally does not refer to Eumnyeokak Seollal (음력 설날, lunar new year), also known as Gujeong. Less commonly, “Seollal” also refers to Yangnyeok Seollal (양력 설날, solar new year), also known as Sinjeong 신정

Korean New Year is typically a family holiday. The three-day holiday is used by many to return to their hometowns to visit their parents and other relatives where they perform an ancestral ritual. Many Koreans dress up in colorful traditional Korean clothing called Hanbok. But nowadays, small families tend to become less formal and wear other formal clothing instead of Hanbok. Many Koreans greet the New Year by visiting East-coast locations such as Gangnueng and Donghea in Gangwon province, where they are most likely to see the first rays of the New Year’s sun.

Gangnueng

Gangnueng

Donghae, Gangwon

Donghae, Gangwon

Gangwon

Gangwon

Korean people always eat Tteokgugk on New year’s day.Tteokguk (떡국) (soup with sliced rice cakes) is a traditional Korean food.

떡국 Tteokguk

떡국 Tteokguk

Many traditional games are associated with the Korean New Year.The traditional family board game yutnuri (윷놀이) is still a popular game in now days. Yut Nori is a traditional board game played in Korea, especially during Korean New Year.

Yut nuri 윷놀이

Yut nuri 윷놀이

Traditionally men and boys would fly rectangle kites called yeonnaligi(연날이기) in New year’s day also.

Yeonnalrigi  연날이기

Yeonnalrigi 연날이기

, and play jegi chagi (제기차기), a game in which a light object is wrapped in paper or cloth, and then kicked in a footbag like manner.

 jegi chagi (제기차기)

jegi chagi (제기차기)

 

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