South Korean Festivals

South Korean Festivals
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Lunar New Year:

The Lunar New Year is one of the most important Korean national (and family) holidays. The 3-day holiday is spent by many visiting their parents and other relatives Many Koreans dress up in traditional Korean clothing, play games, and eat traditional food. But nowadays, small families tend to become less formal and wear other clothing instead of hanbok, the traditional cultural dress. Other Koreans spend their holiday by visiting the east coast, where they many flock to witness the first rays of the New Year sun.


Independence Day:

The South Korean people commemorate their independence day on March 1st. Yoo Kwan-Sun, was the main figure of the nationalist movement, and sacrificed her life for Korea’s getting independence. On March 1st, 1919, thirty three people gathered in Seoul, and read the Korean Declaration of Independence that had been drawn up by the historian Choe Nam-seon. The nationalists initially planned to assemble at Tapgol Park in downtown Seoul, but they chose a more private location out of fear that the gathering might turn into a riot. The leaders of the movement signed the document and sent a copy to the Governor General, with their compliments. Since then, the day has been celebrated as a national Korean holiday.



Hansik is one of the four major festive holidays in Korea. The term Hansik is derived from an old custom of not lighting fire, thus eating cold food. It is said that the origin of this holiday goes back to certain ancient Chinese rituals; two of these are conducted in Korea on this day. Citizens hold their own memorial services and visit their families’ ancestral graves. If the grave is worn they lay fresh turf on it or plant trees around it, perhaps planting some flowers as well. It is a day of memorial and remembrance.



Dano is one of the four main national holidays in Korea, and falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Korean lunar calendar. It is an ancient spiritual festival that worshiped the sky deity. The celebration of Dano in the coastal town of Gangneung, located in South Korea‘s Gangwon prefecture, is especially distinctive, as it is accompanied by ritual performances and dates back one thousand years. Most celebrations are characterized by eating, drinking, and singing with friends and family.