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.
|2021||12 Feb to 14 Feb||Fri to Sun||Seollal|
|2022||1 Feb to 3 Feb||Tue to Thu||Seollal|
|2023||21 Jan to 23 Jan||Sat to Mon||Seollal|
|2024||9 Feb to 11 Feb||Fri to Sun||Seollal|
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.