Hanbok Lunar New Year Girl Modern Seoul

Starting this year (2012) on January 22nd and finishing on January 24th, the 3 day Korean Lunar New Year is observed by Koreans worldwide as well as foreigners living in Korea. Just as the other major holiday of Chuseok (More Information), the Korean Lunar New Year or Seolnal (설날) is generally a family occasion and sees a mass migration of Koreans returning to hometowns to visit family and pay respects to ancestors.

There are a number of different traditional customs which relate to Seolnal. Like other times of celebration Koreans often wear the Hanbok, an old-style of clothing which dates back hundreds of years. The food which relates to Seolnal is Tteokguk (떡국) which is a simple soup flavored with sliced rice cake. Children usually perform the traditional act of Sebae, which is a bow/prayer to their ancestors wishing for good fortune in the year ahead. This act is generally results in the children being given a gift from parents. Games are also played such as Toho which involves throwing a stick into a pot and Yut Nori (More Information) which also involves throwing sticks along with many more.

Seolnal Dates for Upcoming Years

2013 – February 9th to 11th (Fri to Sun)

2014 – January 30th to February 1st (Thurs to Sat)

2015 – February 18th to 20th (Wed to Fri)


Happy Seolnal (설날) / Korean New Year, and good fortune for the year ahead.