Different peoples celebrate the arrival of the new year in their own way. The Korean New year will come in 2021 on the night of February 11-12. The preservation of ancient customs does not prevent us from celebrating the holiday together with other countries at the end of December, but Koreans arrange a real family celebration as their ancestors bequeathed.
History of the holiday
Until 1896, the official lunar and solar calendar in Korea was called the Eastern calendar in America. The transition to the Gregorian calendar did not cancel the old holidays.
More than one generation of Koreans has celebrated the New year twice: the first time together with the world cultural community in clubs and restaurants, the second time-in a family circle, but on a special scale.
Each year, the date of the celebration is calculated from the winter solstice, which falls on the second new moon. Usually, the New year, or Sollal, falls between late January and mid-February. One of the most important holidays used to be celebrated for two weeks, from new moon to full moon, which reflected its significance in the culture of the people. But in today’s fast-moving life, Korea can afford to rest for no more than 3 days. Mini-vacations are enough for a family celebration, meetings with friends, visiting relatives, socializing and entertainment:
- the first day— new year’s eve, preparation for the celebration;
- the second dayimmediately marks the beginning of a new time period;
- the third one– continuation of the celebration.
The second name of the holiday is tonji, or small New year. At this time, it is customary to exchange calendars, treat yourself to sweet reddish porridge. Bright color symbolizes strengthening of health, prosperity, harvest.
The celebration is always filled with joy, expectation of miracles, meetings with loved ones. People believe that the event represents the arrival of a real spring, the renewal of life.
Korean New year received the status of a national public holiday relatively recently, officially recognized since 1989, although it was popular at all times. According to polls of sociologists, the majority of Koreans prefer the traditional celebration of the Western version, with festive Christmas trees, shiny tinsel, Santa Claus.
In 2021, Koreans, following the traditions of the people, will start celebrating with a ritual dinner on the eve of The new year.
All family members wear formal hanbok clothing. Food and drink are placed on the table in a special way. So, for example, white dishes are placed on the West side, and red – on the East. Rice is served first, followed by dessert. The dinner is designed to pay tribute to the ancestors who can help living relatives. The meal is accompanied by aromatic incense.
Bowing to the dead, like invitations to a meal, is performed in turn. Respectable members of the family begin, followed by the rest.
The next stage is the worship of older relatives. The younger ones bow and congratulate their grandparents, then their moms and dads, followed by other family members. In return, they give you treats or coins. The custom is called “sebe”. New year’s blessings and signs of respect are obligatory for all relatives. It is no coincidence that many people go to their homeland to pay their respects to their parents.
Koreans celebrate the New year not at midnight, as in other countries, but with the onset of the first dawn. After the ritual Breakfast, which requires ttok-Guk soup (beef broth with dumplings, rice cakes, green onions), symbolizing the General growing up for a year. When Koreans are interested in the age of the interlocutor, they ask how many bowls of ttok-Guk were eaten. It is interesting that children born on the eve of the holiday are recognized immediately as two-year-olds after the celebration, since the stay in the womb is counted for a year.
It is customary to meet the dawn on a hill in order to better see the rays of the sun. Many people go to the East of the country to be the first to celebrate the New year.
On the first day of the new year, it is customary to have fun, set a rich table. Prosperity and joy lay the Foundation for the entire future period. Korean sollel is accompanied by music, games, and folk dances. Ancient customs to compete in the speed of eating sweets, cracking nuts are still held in some provinces.
Koreans decorate their homes for the New year with images of chickens and tigers. According to beliefs, the former attract benefits, and the latter scare away evil spirits.
Festive table dishes
Traditions of cooking national dishes always accompany the celebration of any New year, no matter what calendar it is celebrated on. In addition to the ritual opaque new year’s soup ttok-Guk, treats are popular:
- japon– potato noodles with soy sauce, vegetables, sesame seeds;
- Jaksic– sweet boiled rice with the addition of nuts, raisins, dried fruits;
- the ttok– rice cakes made in different sizes and shapes;
- Acqua– dessert made from honey, sesame seeds, flour;
- galbijim– fried beef ribs served with honey, onions, sweet peppers, and a vegetable side dish.
The food has a special taste, and Korean cuisine is popular among other Nations.
Tourists from all over the world will definitely come to Korea to celebrate the New year 2021 to see an amazing holiday, taste treats, and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of national traditions.