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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Seollal is here!

The Korean New Years, Seollal was just a few days ago. There are so many ways to spend the day, and I'd like to tell you more about our tradition.


1. Bowing

Koreans have valued the respect for adults and elders since dynasties were created. That's why the younger people in the family bow to the older people. After they bow, the adults/elders wish the younger people success and good fortune to come. It's also common that the ones receiving the bow to give the younger people a small sum of money, as it shows the start of their good fortune.

Children bowing to the elders
2. Tteok-Guk (Rice-cake soup)

One of the traditional food we eat during Seollal is rice-cake soup. In our soup, we get rice-cakes that correspond to our age (but only up to a point). It is believed that only when you eat the rice-cake soup, you will grow a year older. Other food includes vegetable pancakes (Jeon) and rice sweets (Hangwa)

A delicious bowl of Tteok-Guk
3. Hanbok (traditional Korean attire)

During this traditional day, people dress up in the traditional Korean attires. However, the traditional garment is quite complicated to wear as well as limiting you movement, so nowadays, we buy simplified Hanboks. These are less expensive and more comfortable, but still helps us remain true to the traditions.

Traditional Hanbok
4. Games

Most of the games are physical and requires an outdoor area. There are games such as flying kites, spinning tops, kicking small sacs called 'Jegi', throwing blunt arrows into a pot and so much more. The most popular indoor game is 'Yut-nori' where you have 4 differently marked wooden sticks and you throw them to move your piece through a board.

A family playing Yut-Nori

Seollal is a time for families to get together and talk about the New Year. We wish each other's success and well-being.

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