Here is a list of 2013’s Public holidays in South Korea which are often know as Red Days or simply Days Off work. Sadly if a public holiday falls on a weekend it is NOT carried over onto the next workday, it’s just unlucky and this year we lose 3 days which fall on weekends. However there is the mega 5 day weekend in September.
Here are the dates for your 2013 diary’s:
Tuesday January 1st – New Years Day (신정)
Saturday, Sunday & Monday February 9th to 11th – Korean Lunar New Year or Seollal (설날)
Monday March 1st – Independence Movement Day (3.1절)
Sunday May 5th – Children’s Day (어린이날)
Friday May 17th – Buddha’s Birthday (석가탄신일)
Thursday June 6th – Memorial Day (현충일)
Thursday August 15th – Liberation Day (광복절)
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday September 18th to 20th – Chuseok (추석) also known as Korean Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival
Thursday October 3rd – National Foundation Day (개천절)
Wednesday October 9th – Hangul Day (한글날)
Wednesday December 25th – Christmas Day (크리스마스)
All this means that there are 11 official days off, red days or Public Holidays in South Korea this year. It is also worth noting that Hangeul Day is new and therefore may not be included in many peoples working contacts. Also often people are asked to work during a public holiday and get a day off at another time, this is common and perfectly legal (although not nice to work when others are outside playing). Public Holiday are a requirement for government and public buildings however private businesses are not bound to follow or observe them.
Be warned that traveling the day before, on or the after day after a public holiday can be very busy and traffic jams fully booked buses, trains and even planes are common. Therefore book in advance to avoid disappointment.
One positive is that most shops, stores, restaurants, bars etc all open on public holidays in Korea and buses and subways operate on a similar schedule to a Sunday (although as already stated they can be very busy).
2013 Year of the Snake
If you have any questions let us know, have a great year in South Korea.Modern Seoul firstname.lastname@example.org