How to do Chinese New Year Korean Style

-published on The Courier 22/2/2016

The date of Korean New Year is usually the same as the Chinese one. In 2016, Korean New Year holidays last 4 days, from 6th to 9th February, which is much shorter than other countries which celebrate Chinese New Year. Influenced by Chinese culture, the Korean New Year and the Chinese one are very much the same, but it there are still some differences.

New Years Eve

Generally family members gather around and have rice cake soup as a sign of good luck in the forth-coming year. After dinner, the children dress in traditional contumes, assemble in the living room and bow to the elders to express their respect. In response, the elders in the family give them envelops with money. Usually children get envelopes every year until they grow up and get their first job.

Traditional family activities

As family memebers are together for three or four days, there are some special activities to do besides watching TV and gossiping. Hanafuda is kind of card game from Japan, nevertheless, the game rules of Hanafuda is very similar to Mahjong in China. Besides Hanafuda, Yut is another old-fashioned board game, which not many people still know how to play nowadays. The board and the game are known to be used in fortune telling. In New Year, while everyone is relaxing in the living room, wives are generally in charge of food and therefore busy in the kitchen. New Year is a festival that is pretty stressful for wives.

Traditions are fading

Jooyoung also told us that Korean people don’t really care about traditions that much now. People may still remember some traditions but forget what they mean originally. Today’s Chinese New Year in Korea is more like simply spending time with the family –everything else doesn’t really matter anymore.