Seollal Special : Korean New Year Customs

If you’re a Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese or Mongolian, you’ll be probably celebrating the Lunar New Year.
So how do Koreans celebrate this family-oriented festival which Koreans call it “Seollal (설날)”?

Charye (차례) and Sebae (세배)

saebae song joong ki

Seo Hye Rim (서효림) and Song Joong Ki (송중기) demostrating a Sebae (세배) (Photo:

Koreans will wear their their Hanbok (한복) for Seollal. Koreans begin the festival by performing Charye (차례) which is an ancestor ritual. Next, they will greet their elders by doing a deep bow known as Sebae (세배). The greeting words will usually be “새해 복 많이 받으세요 se-hae bok manhi-ba-deu-se-yo” which literally means “Please receive abundant happiness in the new year”. The elders in return will give the children with Sebaedon (세뱃돈) which is New Year’s money.

Seollal Food


I made this tteokguk (떡국) this morning for Seollal. It is easy to make.

Tteokguk (떡국) is a Korean dish that is eaten during the morning of Seollal (설날). It is rice cake soup and topped with sliced egg white/egg yolk, meat and seaweed (kim). I made tteokmanduguk this morning which is tteokguk with added mandu (dumplings). Diffrent snacks and sweetened rice cakes called Tteok (떡) are also eaten.

Ssalgwaja and Tteok

Ssalgwaja (쌀과자), Ggultteok (끌떡) and Baekseolgi (백설기) that I had for Lunar New Year. Baekseolgi symbolizes Purity and Holliness


Seollal Games


Yutnori (윷놀이) is a popular game played during Seollal

Yutnori (윷놀이) and Go Stop (고스톱)  are played during Seollal.

Korea Plaza recently organized a Seollal celebration event and guests got to tried out the traditional Korean games, tried out Hanbok, eat tteok and had a taste of Sikhye (식혜) and Sujeonggwa (수정과).

Sujeonggwa and Sikhye

Sikhye (식혜) and Sujeonggwa (수정과) being served at Korea Plaza at Raffles Place, Singapore

 So did you celebrate Lunar New Year? How did you celebrate?

See also:
Korean way of saying Happy New Year
Male Idols in Hanbok
Female Idols in Hanbok
Idols born in the year of the Rabbit

12 thoughts on “Seollal Special : Korean New Year Customs

  1. Korean New Year customs is different from CNY. HaHa! Hyorim and Joongki looks cute in that picture.

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