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New Year's Day

New Year’s Day 2020 and 2021

South Korea celebrates traditional Korean New Year according to its traditional lunar calendar, but it also observes New Year’s Day on the Gregorian (Western) Calendar along with much of the rest of the world.

YearDateDayHoliday
20201 JanWedNew Year's Day
20211 JanFriNew Year's Day

New Year’s Eve on 31 December and New Year’s Day on 1 January are celebrated in many of the same ways as in other countries. This includes huge fireworks displays in Seoul and other cities, feasting and family togetherness, wearing new clothes, cleaning the house, setting New Year’s resolutions, and wishing yourself and others good luck.

In Seoul, the centre of attention is the ringing of the “Bosingak Bell”. Just at midnight, the mayor of Seoul and others join in ringing this landmark bell 33 times. Literally hundreds of thousands of people flock to the bell at midnight to see it rung, and millions watch the event on TV.

One thing Koreans do that most in the West neglect is to get up early on New Year’s Day and watch the first sunrise of the new year. Even after a long night of partying, many of them still find time for this morning ritual and a scenic walk to boot!