Seollal falls on 31st November this year. Every year is represented by one of the 12 animals and 2014 is represented Horse, the 7th in the group of Shibijishin.
Seollal is the traditional new year for Koreans. Seollal requires a lot of preparation. Therefore, markets, supermarkets and departmental stores will be very crowded. Most Koreans celebrate Seollal with ancestral rites and foods such as meat, seafood and fruits.
Seollal is a family oriented festival. Many Koreans living in the cities will travel to their respective hometowns. Therefore, Seoul will be especially quiet during the Seollal holiday. Recently, more parents are visiting their children living in the larger cities instead as it is more convenient and less crowded. Travelling by car during the season usually takes more time due to the heavy traffic. Therefore, real-time reports of highway traffic conditions can be heard on radio as well as website such as Naver.
In the morning, Koreans will perform the ancestral rite. Family members will dressed up in hanbok (or being dressed up), gather in front of the ritual rite and set an ancestral tablet with food. It begins with the deep bows as greeting to the ancestors.
Tteokguk (떡국) is a traditional soup with sliced rice cakes, beef, egg, vegetables and other ingredients. Eating tteokguk is believed to add a year to one’s age
Younger generation will receive Sebaeton (세뱃돈) as a gift. Family members play traditional folk games such as Yutnori (윷놀이) and continue eating.
Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Seollal!
새해 복 많이 받으시고 건강하시기 바랍니다!
Seollal (Korean New Year) Customs