Start Planning
Seollal

Seollal 2020 and 2021

Seollal, or Korean Lunar New Year, is a major holiday in the lives of South Koreans. Seollal comes in January or February and involves family visits, ancestral rites, eating of traditional foods and playing of Korean games.

YearDateDayHoliday
202024 Jan to 26 JanFri to SunSeollal
202112 Feb to 14 FebFri to SunSeollal

Seollal is based on the lunar calendar and so varies from year to year on the Gregorian Calendar. And the wonderful thing about Lunar New Year is that it lasts for three days, not just one!

The emphasis of Seollal is paying your respects to your ancestors and spending time with living family members. After performing traditional rites to honour the dead, South Koreans spend the rest of the day with the living. This means talking for hours on end, eating, telling stories all night, and playing folk games.

Many will visit their ancestral home towns to take part in Seollal activities, so this can be a busy time of year for travel. It takes time to prepare for the trip, and the food too takes a lot of preparation time. There are special articles of clothing to wear for Seollal during the rites, and special foods to be eaten at designated times.