11 August, 2022

A new Year, two celebrations in South Korea

A food delight in South Korea to ring in the new year. photo VD: Rocio Rivas.
By Rocío Rivas

South Korea – Soon the 2022 and in each country, celebrations have different flavors, smells, colors, meanings and even different dates. South Korea, for example, the New Year is celebrated twice.
The first party is a little simpler and takes place a few hours earlier than in Latin America, due to time differences.

Since 1953 until the year 2020, just at twelve at night, citizens gathered in front of the Boshingak bell tower, in central Seoul or in other cities across the country.

These are the customs in South Korea. photo VD: Rocio Rivas.

There, government authorities or famous people played the 33 chimes that said goodbye to the old year and were an expression of hope, happiness and expectations for the new year.

Due to the appearance of the coronavirus, in the year 2020 it was the first time that the chimes did not sound in real time. Instead, Seoul authorities broadcast a pre-recorded video to prevent the spread of the disease in the country.

In South Korea, families celebrate it in style with activities in their homes. photo VD: Rocio Rivas.

The second celebration is the most special and unforgettable in the hearts of Koreans.

This is done following the lunar calendar.
When the 1 February 2022 in the western calendar, will finally be the 1 January in the lunar calendar.
That day, taking into account the restrictions due to the coronavirus, Korean families will get together and celebrate the party called Seollal.

Generally, in Corea, those who work receive three or more days of vacation so that they can travel to their hometowns and share with their families. A) Yes, together they will prepare traditional meals, they will perform various greetings to express respect and even in the most traditional homes, your ancestors will be remembered.

The traditional soup Tteokguk or rice cake soup to say goodbye to the year. photo VD: Rocio Rivas.

The dish that cannot be missed on this occasion is the white soup called Tteokguk or rice cake soup.
This dish is made with pieces of beef, egg and tteok, which are slices of a sticky rice cake.

A curious fact about this soup, is that after taking it, people are symbolically added a year of life. Thus, South Korea, socially, people have a different age than the one that appears on their identity documents.

At the end of the year party, traditional games are played in which parents and children participate.. photo VD: Rocio Rivas.

After sharing food, greetings are generally performed. Children, they greet their grandparents, parents and uncles. The older ones give them words of encouragement, advice and give money to infants.

In some families, traditional games are practiced and thus ends the first part of the celebration in which all the unmarried sons and daughters and the married children participate together with their wives and children..

The second part of the celebration, takes place later. In this part of the party, married daughters travel to their parents' home to greet them and there they share words of wisdom, The advices, gifts and games.