New Year's greeting: "say hay boke-mahn he pah du say oh".
In Korea, Solnal is the first day of the first month of the new year. While many
Koreans celebrate the New Year on January 1st of the solar calendar, the lunar
new year is still popular today. In many Korean communities, the New Year is
The Koreans focus on the family as they celebrate the beginning of the New Year.
Children put on new traditional clothes called hanbok. They kneel and bow to their
ancestors and elders. Family members wish each other prosperity and good
fortune. Then they exchange gifts: children receive lucky money, candy and fruit
from the elders.
The family spends time together and have a bowl of rice cake soup called ttokkuk.
Koreans believe eating this soup will add an extra year of age to your life. Note,
similar to other Asian cultures, Korean age is actually calculated at the New Year.
Everyone becomes a year older on New Year's Day!
Children often take this day to play special New Year games. Some favorite
games: yut nori, a stick game, and see-sawing on large see-saws setup in a
courtyard or in parks.
In parts of Korea, people usher in the New Year with a ritual called Jishin Balpgi.
Loud drums and gongs are played to scare off evil spirits of the old year. At the
end of the day, friends and relatives join together for dinner to renew their
friendship. Sol is a celebration of family and good friends. And for the Koreans, the
New Year is about family and community.