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Guide for Living in Korea

Festivals and Holidays

01 Festivals

There are a variety of festivals and seasonal events in Korea.
The Korean calendar uses both solar and lunar dates. Festivals usually follow the lunar calendar.

Seollal (Lunar New Year)
  • Meaning: First day of the lunar new year
  • Food: Rice cake soup, dumplings
  • Characteristics: Wearing new clothes (seolbim), giving a new year's greetings to your elders, visiting ancestral graves, and playing a game of yut
  • Seollal and the days immediately before and after Seollal (December 31, January 1, and January 2 on the lunar calendar) are public holidays.
Chuseok (August 15 on the Lunar Calendar)
  • Meaning: Harvest festival
  • Food: The year's new crops and fruits and Songpyeon
  • Characteristics: Ancestor memorial services, visiting ancestral graves, viewing the full moon, and enjoying a Korean circle dance
  • Chuseok and the days immediately before and after Chuseok (August 14, August 15, and August 16 on the lunar calendar) are public holidays

02 Holidays

January 1st :
First day of the solar new year.
Samil-jeol (Samil Independence Movement Day, March 1) :
On this day in 1919, there was a nation-wide independence movement to protest Japanese colonial rule.
Seokga Tansil-il (Buddha's Birthday, April 8 on the lunar calendar) :
This is the day on which Koreans celebrate the birth of Buddha.
Eorini-nal (Children's Day, May 5) :
This is a day that celebrates the joy of children and promotes child welfare.
Hyeonchung-il (Memorial Day, June 6) :
This is a day for honoring national heroes, including those who died during the Korean War.
Gwangbok-jeol (Independence Day, August 15) :
On this day in 1945, Korea was liberated from under Japanese colonial rule.
Gaecheon-jeol (National Foundation Day, October 3) :
This is the day on which the Korean nation was founded. In Korean, Gaecheon-jeol means "the day on which the sky opened."
Hangeul Day (October 9) :
This holiday celebrates the proclamation of Hangeul (the Korean Alphabet) by King Sejong and promotes the research and spread of Hangeul.
Seongtan-jeol (Christmas, December 25) :
The birth date of Jesus Christ.
Temporary holiday :
Dates designated by the government for elections or other reasons such as public holidays falling on Sundays.
본 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원'에서 '2020년' 작성하여 공공누리 제4유형으로 개방한 '한국생활가이드북'을 이용하였으며, 해당 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원,' 에서 무료로 다운받으실 수 있습니다.