Places You Don’t Wanna Miss During Seollal Holidays!

credit: gwangjublog.com

credit: gwangjublog.com

Annyeonghaseyo!

The Seollal (Lunar New Year) celebration is only one day away and everyone in Korea is now having their holiday! Most places will be closed during the Seollal holiday but these attractive places will especially hold some special Seollal events for families to enjoy and celebrate this Lunar New Year!

SEOL GRAND FESTIVAL

  1. Seoul Grand Festival in National Folk Museum of Korea

Date: 18th February until 22nd February 2015

Location: 37, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Official website: www.nfm.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

The National Folk Museum of Korea, located in Gyeongbokgung Palace, will hold a special exhibition titled ‘Seoul Grand Festival with National Folk Museum of Korea’. In celebrating the year of the sheep, many sheep-related cultural programs are to be offered at the event. Museum visitors can join arts and crafts classes, making a tray with hanji (traditional Korean paper), a sheep doll or a bokjori (a lucky bag). Also, the festival aims to spread holiday cheer through fun folk games like paengichigi (top-spinning game), jegichagi (Korean hacky sack game) and Yutnori (Korean board game).

ROYAL RESIDENCE

  1. Celebration of New Year in Unhyeongung Royal Residence

Date: 18th February (Wednesday) – 20th February (Friday) 2015

Location: Unni-dong 464, Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

Official Website : http://www.unhyeongung.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Unhyeongung Royal Residence will hold a special exhibition of Charyesang (ancestor memorial service table) that will offer a great opportunity to learn about Korean customs and the folk games set to welcome visitors.

KOREAN FOLK VILLGAE

  1. Good Luck Feast in Korean Folk Village

Date: February 7 (Saturday) – 22 (Sunday), 2015

Location: Bora-dong 90, Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

Official Website: http://www.koreanfolk.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

In celebration of Seollal, the Korean Folk Village will host Seollal events for all family members to enjoy from February 7 to February 22, 2015. Special events to welcome the New Year include daljiptaeugi (sheaf burning), jisinbalgi (praying for abundance through music), sharing tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup) and fortune telling. Also, participants can get their faces painted or exchange words of blessing, called ‘deokdam’ at the deokdam photo zone. A traditional Korean dance will be performed on February 19 (Seollal day) and a gugak b-boy dance performance will take place on February 20 and 21. The Korean Folk Village offers visitors dressed in hanbok a ‘day pass’ at a 50% discounted rate.

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  1. Five Nobleman’s Seollal Feast in Namsangol Hanok Village

Date: February 19 (Thursday) – 21 (Saturday), 2015

Location: The area of Pil-dong 2(i)-ga, 28, Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Official Website: hanokmaeul.seoul.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul will hold a variety of events, such as traditional performances, folk games, and traditional experience programs from February 19 to 21, 2015. Visitors can take part in traditional Seollal customs like sharing tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup), pounding steamed rice into cake, and writing wishes for the New Year. Fun folk games such as jegichagi (Korean hacky sack game), paengichigi (top-spinning game) and tuhonori (arrow-throwing game) are also prepared for visitors to enjoy.

HOWEVER,If you want to have some fun with families and friends after going to those traditional events, you could also release your stress and become a happy kid in Amusement Parks!

EVERLAND

  1. Everland Theme Park

Everland is the go-to theme park in Korea. It’s a fairy tale, magical wonderland for the kids, and it also has the most fun rides of all the theme parks. It’s the perfect getaway for this Lunar New Year (Seollal) Holiday as there will be less people, and there are cultural specific events for the holiday as well.

Admission:
Adults 46,000 won / Children 36,000 won

How to get to Everland:
[Subway] Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin Ever Line), Exit 3 – then take shuttle
[Bus 5002] – Sinnonhyeon Station, Gangnam Station, Yangjae Station
[Bus 5700] Pangyo, Segok-dong, Suseo Station, Songpa Station, Jamsil Station, Gangbyeon Station
[Bus 1500-2] Sadang Station, Nambu Terminal
[Bus 1113] Gangbyeon Station, Gangdong Station

SEOUL LAND

  1. Seoul Land

Seoul Land has a theme park, zoo, sledding and a wide open park with plenty of space to play. It’s the perfect place to take the kids or to go on a short fun date during the holidays. The rides are very reasonable for those that don’t like to be thrown out of their wits. In addition, you’ll get a parade along with cultural experiences setup specifically for the holiday.

Admission:
Adult 20,000 won / Youth 17,000 won / Children 15,000 won

How to get to Seoul Land:
Seoul Grand Park Station (Line 4), Exit 2

After playing the whole day, you may want to relax and shop with your beloved ones. If you are still staying in Seoul, these market places will keep you awake all night!

credit: redbubble.net

credit: redbubble.net

  1. Coex Mall

Coex, Asia’s largest underground shopping mall, has been recently renovated and filled with high quality shopping, excellent eats and plenty of activities. Although the openings and closings will vary according to each store, there is enough to see and do to fill out your day.

How to get to Coex:
Samseong Station (Line 2), Exit 5

Insadong121

  1. Insadong

Insadong is Seoul’s mecca for tourists, and luckily for you it’s wide open for the Lunar New Year. The many arts and crafts and traditional Korean goods can be bought from the numerous stores that stay open for lost travelers. There’s also a few traditional Korean dances and musical performances as well.

How to get to Insadong:
Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit 6

dongdaemun-night

  1. Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun, one of Korea’s hottest shopping districts for domestically produced Korean designs, is also another area that stays open during the Lunar New Year. While there will be some spotty closures in regards to vendors and malls, there will definitely be some available for all your Korean shopping needs.

How to get to Dongdaemun:
Dongdaemun History and Culture Park (Line 2, 4, 5), Exit 14
Dongdaemun Station (Line 1, 4), Exit 8, 9

itaewon

  1. Itaewon

Itaewon is Seoul’s foreigner district and the newest hotspot for nightlife in Seoul. And while many of bars and clubs will be closed, there will be definitely be plenty open for all the foreigners who don’t have anywhere to go. Also, there’s plenty of shopping to do during the day, even during this Lunar New Year holiday.

How to get to Itaewon:
Itaewon Station (Line 6), Any exit

myeongond

  1. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is one of the largest downtown areas of Seoul, and one of the few places that will be bustling with people during the typically quiet holidays. Nearly all of the stores will be open and there will be plenty of street food, shopping and activities. Fair warning, however: it may be too crowded for some!

How to get to Myeongdong:
Myeongdong Station (Line 4), Exit 6
Euljiro-1-ga Station (Line 2), Exit 6

kimchi-hongdae-hostel

  1. Hongdae

Hongdae, Seoul’s heartbeat of subculture and cool kids, is filled with shopping, bars, restaurants, clubs, street performers, and anything else. And while there are plenty of places that will close, Hongdae is so massive and draws such crowds that there will undoubtedly be plenty for you to do.

How to get to Hongdae:
Hongik University Station (Line 2), Exit 9
Sangsu Station (Line 6), Exit 1 or 2

Well, hope all that information could help you imagine what Lunar New Year is like in South Korea! And if someday you get the chance to spend Seollal in Korea, don’t forget to visit these places!

Once again, happy Lunar New Year everyone!

(and because I am currently addicted to these super cute Song Triplets, ….tadaaa!)

song-il-kook_1420085032_af_org

새해복 많이 받으세요! (Sae-hae-bok-mani-ba-de-se-yo!)

(Thankyou to Seoulistic.com and visitkorea.or.kr for these informations)

Best regards,

koreanmate

Celebrating Seollal- The Lunar New Year in South Korea

credit:rsgiars.blogspot.com

credit:rsgiars.blogspot.com

Annyeonghaseyo!

Not even a week passed by after Valentine’s Day but we are already going to celebrate another big occasion: The Lunar New Year!

Lunar, or Chinese New Year in common, will be on the 19th of January this year. If you live in Asia, you must have seen all the Chinese ornaments, Lanterns, lion dances, and of course the Red Envelopes or “HongBao” in many places such as malls and streets.

Korea is also one of the country that celebrates Lunar New Year. They call it Seollal (설날).Seollal is the traditional Korean calendar’s most important holiday, along with the autumn harvest festival, Chuseok. More than just a holiday to mark the beginning of a new year, Seollal is truly a special occasion for Korean people. Not only is it a time for paying respect to ancestors, but it is also an opportunity to catch up with distant family members who will go back to their original home to get together for this special occasion. During Seollal, Koreans traditionally wear hanbok (traditional clothes), perform ancestral rites, play folk games, eat traditional foods, listen to stories, and catch up with one another.

credit:koreaculturedc.org

credit:koreaculturedc.org

As is custom, the preceding and following days are combined to create a three-day holiday. In Korea, Seollal is when extended families often gather at the eldest brother’s home and food, games, conversation and ancestral rites figure prominently. On the morning of the second day, family members will perform Jesa (제사), a ceremonial rite to honor one’s deceased ancestors. To one’s living elders, deep bows, called sebae (세배), are made. Most children look forward to the cash rewards they receive for their bows.

The days before Seollal Celebrations are chaotic and busy as Seollal demands a lot of preparation,-especially in terms of gifts, traveling, and also the feast. Department stores and markets are usually very crowded during the days leading up to Seollal because people would buy many ancestral gifts with great attention paid to the quality of their shape, color, and freshness. Seollal gifts vary each year depending on economic situations and gift trends, but the most popular ones are department store gift cards and cash. Popular gifts for parents include ginseng, honey, health products, and massage chairs. Other common gifts include toiletries such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc., and gift baskets/sets composed of Spam, tuna, hangwa (traditional sweets and cookies), dried fish, and fruit.

Another important thing to be concerned about during Seollal is travel arrangements. Many people live away from their family because of work, marriage, or study, and therefore must travel to celebrate Seollal with their families. So, you need to hurry to buy buses, trains, or plane tickets before they are all sold out. Traveling by your personal car during the holiday can take over two to four times the normal travel time due to heavy traffic. During the Seollal holiday, the crowded city of Seoul becomes relatively quiet and peaceful, as most people leave the city to return home or travel abroad. Streets become empty and many restaurants and shops close. However, recreational and cultural facilities such as amusement parks, national parks, and major palaces stay open to the public to present various events and traditional games for families.

credit:visitkorea.or.kr

credit:visitkorea.or.kr

The morning of Seollal begins with an ancestral ceremony. Family members, each dressed in Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), gather in front of the ritual table and set on it an ancestral table and dishes of ritual foods, which are according to the laws of ancestral ceremony. Once set, the ceremony begins with deep bows as greetings to the ancestor spirits, and proceeds with offerings and prayers before ending with bidding farewell to the spirits. The ritual is conducted to express respect and gratitude to one’s ancestors and to pray for the family’s well-being throughout the year.

Tteokguk

Next, everyone gathers together and eats the ritual food. The main dish of the day is tteokguk, a traditional soup made with sliced rice cakes, beef, egg, vegetables, and other ingredients. In Korea, eating tteokguk on New Year’s Day is believed to add a year to one’s age.

credit:hancinema.net

credit:hancinema.net

After the meal, the younger generations of the family pay respect to their elders by taking a deep bow called sebae, and by presenting them with gifts. Then, the elders offer their blessings and wishes for a prosperous year. Children often receive sebaetdon (New Year’s money) as a Seollal gift. For the rest of the day, family members play traditional folk games, eat food, and share stories. The most common activity is yutnori, a board game that involves throwing four wooden sticks. This game is so easy to learn that all family members, regardless of age, can enjoy playing in teams and making fun bets. Besides yutnori, traditional games such as jegi-chagi (footbag-like game), neol-twiggi (see-saw), tuho (arrow toss), and yeon-naligi (kite flying) are widely played at places like parks or open areas at palaces and shrines. Lastly, families wind down by going to see a movie or watching Seollal specials on TV.

Let us learn how to say the Lunar New Year’s greeting!

새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Sae-hae- bok- mani- ba- doo- se- yo!)

It means “Please receive lots of good luck in the coming year!”

song-il-kook_1420085032_af_org

 

Best regards,

koreanmate