[Lunar New Year] Seollal 2015 : Lunar New Year celebration in Korea
Whassup! all the fans of Tong?
First of all, Happy New Year!
Today, Let us talk about Seollal(Lunar New Year).
What is 'Seollal'?
Seollal is a Korean term for New Year, the celebrations of which last for about three days.
It is one of the major national holidays celebrated in Korea aside from Chuseok (Thanksgiving),
which is as widely celebrated as Christmas is in the Philippines.
The celebration dates back to the ancient time of the three kingdoms.
Workers and employees take time off to return to their hometowns for quality time with their families.
(Origin by Visit Korea Homepage)
Recently, I introduce Seollal in Korea.
The day before Seollal: Busy with preparations!
(Origin by Visit Korea Homepage)
Seollal demands a lot of preparation, especially in terms of gifts, traveling, and not to mention, the holiday feast! As there are many things to purchase for the ancestral rites and gifts, department stores and markets are usually very crowded during the days leading up to Seollal.
The foods for ancestral rites are prepared with a variety of wild herbs, meat, fish, and fruits all chosen with great attention paid to the quality of their shape, color, and freshness.
Another crucial part of preparing for Seollal, especially for those far from home, is travel arrangements.
Many people live away from their family home because of work, marriage, or study,
and therefore must travel to celebrate Seollal with their families.
So, there is a mad rush to book buses, trains, or plane tickets before they all sell out.
Meanwhile, traveling by car during the holiday can take over two to four times the normal travel time due to heavy traffic.
For this reason, real-time reports of highway traffic conditions during Seollal are broadcast on the radio and other mass media channels.
On the day of Seollal(ancestral rites and traditional games)
(Origin by ourtesco Homepage)
On the morning of Seollal, people get up early to wash and put on their ‘Seolbim (new clothes prepared for Seollal)’. Many people wear Hanboks.
Then the families gather to perform ancestral rites, paying their respects by offering food.
According to Korean traditions, it is believed that ancestors return to enjoy the holiday food prepared for them.
An ancestral tablet is placed on the rites table along with all the dishes and drinks.
This is to show appreciation and respect for late ancestors.
The ancestral rites also symbolize the descendants’ prayers for a good new year.
(Origin by bridgingculturekorea.blogspot.com)
After the rites have been performed, everyone shares the holiday food together.
Tteokguk, made of thinly sliced tteok (rice cakes) cooked in beef soup, is found on all Seollal tables, without exception.
According to tradition, eating tteokguk on Seollal adds one year to your age.
Therefore, the children ask each other ‘how many servings of tteokguk did you have?’
and they calculate their age according to the number of serving they had just for fun.
(Origin by wikimedia)
After finishing their meal, the younger generations pay their respects to the elders of the family by bowing to them.
The elders offer well-wishing remarks such as ‘have a healthy year’ or ‘meet someone nice’ as they give the young people ‘New Year’s money’.
Children especially like Seollal because they can receive money as a New Year’s gift.
Lately, an increasing number of Christian families are choosing not to perform the ancestral rites due to their religious beliefs.
Instead, their family members gather to share food and stories, and spend quality family time during Seollal.
Finally, there are usually three games played: Jegichagi, Tuho, and Yunnori.
(Origin by wikipedia)
(Origin by ArirangNews Youtube)
Happy New Year! Tong's Friends!!!