Here is a list of 2018’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 good year as only 3 days fall on weekends (and 2 should be given replacement days).

Here Are The Dates For Your 2018 Diary’s

Monday January 1st – New Years Day (신정)

Thursday, Friday & Saturday February 15th to 17th Korean Lunar New Year or Seollal (설날)

Thursday March 1st – Independence Movement Day (3.1절)

Saturday May 5thChildren’s Day (어린이날) *Most calendars list Monday May 7th as a Replacement Holiday*

Tuesday May 22ndBuddha’s Birthday (석가탄신일)

Wednesday June 6thMemorial Day (현충일)

Wednesday June 13th – Korean Local Election Day

Wednesday August 15thLiberation Day (광복절)

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday September 23rd to 25th (plus Wednesday 26th in most places)Chuseok (추석) also known as Korean Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival

Wednesday October 3rdNational Foundation Day (개천절)

Tuesday October 9thHangul Day (한글날)

Tuesday December 25th – Christmas Day (크리스마스)


All this means that there are 14 official days off, red days or Public Holidays in South Korea this year plus election day (one more than in 2017). A lot of mid-week days off, but the big two are next to weekends.

Also often people are asked to work during on a public holiday and then take a day off at another time, this is really uncommon but perfectly legal (although not nice). Public Holidays 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 are generally 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 2017 South Korean Local Election Day (Wednesday June 13th 2017), public schools, government offices, banks etc will all be closed. Other services and 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. This could change depending other factors.

Other Key Days in 2018

Will be added here if/when needed.

2018 Year of the Gold Dog

More on this coming soon.


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.

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