Here is a list of 2016’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 4 days which fall on weekends (in 2015 there were 6 days).
This year the we have a nice spread of holidays until October, but then there’s nothing official until February 2017. However again on the positive side Korean New Year (Seollal) this year give us a nice 4 day weekend at the beginning of February. Chuseok also gives us a nice extended 5 day weekend.
Here Are The Dates For Your 2016 Diary’s
Friday January 1st – New Years Day (신정)
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday February 7th to 9th – Korean Lunar New Year or Seollal (설날)
Tuesday March 1st – Independence Movement Day (3.1절)
Wednesday April 13th – 2016 South Korean Election Day
Thursday May 5th – Children’s Day (어린이날)
Sunday May 14th – Buddha’s Birthday (석가탄신일)
Monday June 6th – Memorial Day (현충일)
Monday August 15th – Liberation Day (광복절)
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday September 14th to 16th – Chuseok (추석) also known as Korean Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival
Monday October 3rd – National Foundation Day (개천절)
Sunday October 9th – Hangul Day (한글날)
Sunday 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 plus election day. 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).
In regards to the 2016 South Korean Election Day, public schools, government offices, banks etc will all be closed. Other services a business will be open but maybe with reduced hours. Employees should be given time in order to vote, however the businesses aren’t required to close for the whole day.
2016 Year of the Monkey
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