Traditionen und Feierlichkeiten des Seollal: Einblick in das koreanische Neujahr

Traditions and Celebrations of Seollal: Insight into the Korean New Year

Seollal, Korean New Year, is a major national holiday in South Korea celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice. This tradition has its roots in Confucianism and is closely linked to the Chinese zodiac, with each year being associated with a specific animal. The celebrations usually last three days and include activities such as gift-giving, playing traditional folk games such as yut nori, eating tteokguk (rice cake soup) and wearing hanbok, the traditional Korean clothing. Special customs include the "Sebae" ritual, a deep bow as a sign of respect for elders, and "Charye", an ancestor worship ceremony. Seollal is a festival of unity, reflection and respect that brings Korean culture and community together.
Trendy Korean Baby Names in 2024 Reading Traditions and Celebrations of Seollal: Insight into the Korean New Year 5 minutes Next Mini banana and blueberry muffins: a treat for the little ones

South Korea's celebration of Seollal, which falls on February 10 this year, is a significant national holiday and a highlight of cultural tradition. This festival, which usually takes place in late January or early February on the second new moon after the winter solstice, ushers in the new year in the Korean lunar calendar and is one of the most important festivals in the country.

Seollal, also known as Korean Lunar New Year, has its origins in the ancient Chinese teachings of Confucianism and is celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar. It usually covers three days: the day before, the day of the New Year and the day after. The earliest records of Seollal celebrations come from the kingdoms of Silla and Joseon, the latter of which existed from 1392 to 1897, and historical documents find mention of celebrations in the royal palaces.

The Korean version of New Year is based on the lunisolar calendar and is closely linked to the Chinese zodiac. Each year is assigned to one of twelve animals, which are in a specific order and return every twelve years. According to Korean belief, these animals, which come from a legend about Buddha's invitation, shape the fate and character of those born that year.

Korean New Year Celebration Timeline:
- 57 BC BC: Founding of the Silla Empire, one of the three kingdoms of Korea.
- 918 AD: Beginning of the Goryeo Dynasty, during which Seollal became a central holiday.
- 935 AD: End of the Silla Empire, after more than 100 years of peace.
- 1392 AD: End of the Goryeo Dynasty, a 400-year era comes to an end.

Seollal is different from Chinese New Year, although both are celebrated at the same time and depend on the lunar calendar. In South Korea, people say "Saehae bok mani badeuseyo," which means "good luck in the new year," to express New Year's wishes. Traditional gifts include fresh fruit, ginseng, honey and cash.

Celebrations include gift-giving, traditional folk games such as "Yut Nori" and "neol ddwigi", and the enjoyment of "Tteokguk", a rice cake soup. Koreans believe that they are visited by their ancestors on Seollal, so an ancestor worship ceremony called "Charye" is held. Many South Koreans also wear “Hanbok,” a traditional clothing with elaborate embroidery, on this day.

Korean New Year brings families together and is a time of reflection, hope and respect. The celebrations include visiting the graves of ancestors and the practice of "Sebae", in which younger family members bow to their elders and receive gifts of money as a sign of respect.

Seollal's festive activities include not only delicious food and family gatherings, but also gift exchanges. This custom extends beyond private households into the world of work, where companies often give gifts to their employees. Participation in traditional folk games is another essential part of Seollal. One of the most popular games is “Yut Nori,” a classic Korean board game. Men devote themselves to kite flying, which begins around the new moon and continues until the first full moon of the new year, while young women often play "neol ddwigi".

A central element of every large family gathering, including Seollal, is eating together. A typical dish served during Korean New Year is "Tteokguk", a rice cake soup. This strengthening and warming soup is a treasured New Year's tradition.

Additionally, there are some unique customs and traditions associated with the Seollal:


1. Koreans hide their shoes because it is considered a bad omen if shoes are lost - this is interpreted as a sign that spirits have stolen them and the person will have bad luck throughout the year.


2. In the morning, people buy "Bokjori" (bamboo screens) from the market and hang them on the walls of their houses to catch and attract good luck.


3. After eating, the younger members of the family perform the "Sebae" ritual, a deep New Year's bow that expresses respect and gratitude to the elders.


4. "Charye" is an ancestor worship ceremony in which special foods are prepared to pay honor to deceased ancestors.


5. Many South Koreans wear "Hanbok", the traditional Korean clothing, which impresses with its beautiful embroidery and colors on Seollal.

Korean New Year is more than just a celebration; it symbolizes unity, reflection and hope. It is a time when people come together to honor and celebrate their various traditions, reflect on the transition from one year to the next, and pay respect to their family members and ancestors. Visiting the graves of ancestors and the "Sebae" ritual, in which younger family members bow to their elders and receive pocket money as a sign of respect, are integral to these traditions. These practices promote love and mutual respect within the family and community.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.