Here is a list of 2015’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, although some public schools and generous employers do give them. It’s unfortunate for most of us and this year we lose 6 days which fall on weekends (in 2013 and 2014 there were just 3 days).
This year the Spring months of March and April have no holidays. There is also a 4 month period between the end of May and end of September with no national holidays. However on the positive side Korean New Year (Seollal) this year give us a nice 5 day weekend at the end of February. Chuseok, Hangul Day and Christmas 2015 also give us extended weekends.
Here are the dates for your 2015 diary’s:
Thursday January 1st – New Years Day (신정)
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday February 18th to 20th – Korean Lunar New Year or Seollal (설날)
Sunday March 1st – Independence Movement Day (3.1절)
Tuesday May 5th – Children’s Day (어린이날)
Monday May 25th – Buddha’s Birthday (석가탄신일)
Saturday June 6th – Memorial Day (현충일)
Saturday August 15th – Liberation Day (광복절)
Saturday, Sunday & Monday September 26th to 28th – Chuseok (추석) also known as Korean Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival
Saturday October 3rd – National Foundation Day (개천절)
Friday October 9th – Hangul Day (한글날)
Friday December 25th – Christmas Day (크리스마스)
All this means that there are 9 official days off, red days or Public Holidays in South Korea this year. Also often people are asked to work during on a public holiday and then take a day off at another time, this is pretty uncommon but 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).
2015 Year of the Sheep
If you have any questions about public holidays / National Holidays / Red Days here in South Korea please feel free to let us know, have a great year in South Korea.Modern Seoul firstname.lastname@example.org