Love and Lunar New Year (설날, Seollal)

설날, seollal (aka, Lunar New Year), is one of the most important holidays on the Korean calendar. Since the date is figured based on the lunar calender, it’s date on the Gregorian calendar changes every year. And all of that is to say that this year, 설날 falls on Feb. 14, yes on Valentine’s Day.

Last year I did a comprehensive post about 설날 and ways Korean adoptive families can celebrate. I’m not going to repeat all of that.

Just remember it’s not New Year without tteokguk (rice cake soup), your best or new clothes, and games such as yut nori. If your child likes to color, you can find a coloring sheet featuring a Korean family in their new clothes for Seollal here. (You can find last year’s detailed entry on Seolnal by either clicking on the Korean holiday how-tos category and scrolling down or looking at the January 2009 entries.)

2010 marks the year of the tiger so you could also have tiger-themed crafts or coloring sheets for Seollal. You can one tiger coloring sheet on the Crayola site. And here’s an interesting Korea Times article on Korea’s connection to tigers and the year of the tiger.

Since lunar new year shares it’s date this year with Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about Valetine’s in Korea. Although it’s still a day about love and chocolate, it’s celebrated a little differently in Korea.

You see many American guys would just as soon forget Valentine’s Day. Well, in Korea they can. In Korea on Feb. 14  girls give chocolates to guys they like, but the guys don’t have to give anything on that.

But don’t think that Korean guys are totally off the hook. One month later, on March 14, Koreans celebrate White Day. It’s a day for guys to give candys and gifts to the girls in their lives. Tradtionally the candy given on White Day isn’t chocolate, although I’ve read that some guys now give white chocolate.

Researching this post led me to find out about the “love days” in Korea. More on that in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, 새해 복 많이 받으세요! (saehae bok manni badeuseyo). That’s Happy New Year in Korean.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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