Posted by: evedlewis | February 11, 2010

Happy V-Day and Lunar New Year Weekend!!!!!

The Lunar New Year holiday, known as Seollal (also spelled Seolnal or Sollal) is this weekend.  This holiday is a big deal in Korea and happens to fall on Valentine’s Day weekend this year.  Most Koreans will be spending time with their families, performing traditional rituals and honouring their ancestors.

Seollal Day Rituals:

(Sorry for any spelling errors – I snagged this from another site)
Charye: On the morning of Seollal, people get up early and put on their ‘Seolbim (new clothes prepared for Seollal)’, often Hanboks still today.  The family then gathers to perform the traditional rites, paying respect to their ancestors through food offerings and special rituals.  After the rites have been performed, everyone partakes of the prepared foods.  The ritual includes a special bow to the ancestors.  This bow, called sebae, involves getting down on both knees and bending toward the floor.  Those families that no longer perform the ancestral rites still get together to share food and enjoy the other traditional activities.  The children will typically receive well wishes and money from the elders.

Info from: http://www.korea4expats.com/article-soellal-lunar-new-year-customs.html

Koreans also celebrate Valentine’s Day – HOWEVER – On February 14th, the women shower their men with presents.  Only the WOMEN are expected to give their men gifts and chocolate.  The men do not buy gifts for their ladies on this day.  Men “return the love” with gifts and chocolate a month later on “White Day”, which is on March 14th. 

The stores are PACKED with all kinds of goodies for the big holiday weekend.  Carefully wrapped boxes of chocolate with bronze and red bows sit on all the front displays.  Boxes of fruit, candy and health products also line the store shelves.  I received a nice box of Korean candy from my Director and some chocolate candy.

The real gift for me will come this weekend when I’m enjoying myself in Seoul.  I decided against Everland, SINCE THE FORECAST CALLS FOR SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!  UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!  Snow is falling in Seoul right now, and it will likely be freezing cold all weekend.   Good thing most of the planned activities are indoors!!!!  The bus tickets have been purchased, the hotel has been booked.  Just 24 hours until I’m on my three-day VACATION!!!!!!!!! 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Lunar New Year to all my American and Korean Friends!!!!!!!!!

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