Winter 2015


National dish for lunar new year or seollal tteok-guk cut out. Korean traditional soup tteokguk on i

New Year’s celebrations in Korea

In Korea, we celebrate the New Year using the lunar calendar. It is usually in February or the end of January. It is a national holiday and we are basically off work, school, and business for 3~4 days. Most people have a vacation during this period. If people have their family in other cities, they visit them on this holiday. When I was young, my family and I visited our grandparents and met other cousins there like all other people. Most people move on the same day, we can always hear the news like "It takes 9 hours now from A city to B city.” during this time. Sometimes my family left at dawn to avoid heavy traffic.

On the morning of New Year’s Day, children and aunts and uncles gathered together and bowed to our grandparents. Grandparents gave us some money and their word of blessing. My brother and I did bows to all adults and received the money. The gathered money was quite a lot for children, so we were excited. Ager 'bow time', everyone gathered for breakfast. Usually, on this day we have rice cake soup as a main dish and more than 10 side dishes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Come to think of it, when I was a child, it was so good having delicious food everywhere and every time that day, but it must be so hard for adults, especially women. I can't imagine having to cook all day without rest.