The celebration of a new year at the start of the lunar calendar has been a tradition in Korea for thousands of years. A new custom has also emerged in Korea -- the celebration of a new year at the start of the solar calendar, which falls on January 1st. For more on Asian culture and popular holidays, please visit Fujimini Island on Facebook and Twitter. This year the start of the lunar calendar doesn't begin until February 10th but that doesn't mean that people across Korea weren't toasting to a new year with their friends and family January 1st! The lunar New Year is a three-day event that involves gathering with neighbors and friends, as well as family. However, New Year's Day is a more family-oriented event. People across the country travel back to their hometowns to be with their relatives and acknowledge their ancestors. A ceremonial ritual, called seh bae, is one of the most important aspects of this day. Seh bae involves a deep bow to the floor and making food and drink offerings to the spirits of their ancestors, or charae. To wish each other a safe, healthy, and happy New Year money and gifts are exchanged between family members, especially to the children.
Has your family received a Nook, Kindle or iPad this year? Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here. Great family-friendly gifts. Family time is greatly stressed during this holiday, so between meals, families gather to play board games, outdoor games (such as kite-flying), participate in karaoke, or just relax. Traditional meals are also included on this day. It is customary for families to prepare and eat a meal consisting of a soup of duk gook, or thinly sliced rice cakes and different variations of dumplings. White rice cakes are believed to represent a new beginning and fresh start for the New Year.