Happy New Year! In Korea, this is a twice a year event, as people also celebrate Lunar New Year, Seollal, not on January 1, but January 28, 2017.

The exact date for Seollal changes each year, as it is measured by the second new moon after winter solstice. The three-day festival is a big one for family time, eating and ancestral rites.

Most Koreans return to their hometowns for Seollal to visit relatives, so if you are in South Korea around these days expect to see millions of people on the move. Once home, many people wear hanbok to perform a ritual known as sebae, in which they bow deeply and wish their elders a happy new year. In return, they will usually get money, and words of wisdom.

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Arirang reports on Seollal

Learn more about Seollal and how to say Happy New Year in Korean

Two of the main dishes eaten at Seollal are tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cakes) and jeon (a type of savoury pancake). Seollal is also a time to play traditional folk games like the board game yutnori, and jegichagi, where a small object that looks a bit like a badminton shuttlecock must be kept in the air using only your feet.

Yutnori explained for beginners


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