Korean New Year
|Korean New Year|
Traditional game tuho being played.
|Also called||Lunar New Year|
|Observed by||Korean people around the world|
|Type||Korean, cultural, Buddhist|
|Significance||The first day of the Korean calendar (lunar calendar)|
|2012 date||January 23|
|2013 date||February 10|
|2014 date||January 31|
|Related to||Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year, Japanese New Year, Chinese New Year, Vietnamese New Year|
Korean New Year, commonly known as Seollal (Hangul: 설날; RR: Seollal; MR: Sŏllal), is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year's Day. Koreans also celebrate solar New Year's Day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. The Korean New Year holiday lasts three days, and is considered a more important holiday than the solar New Year's Day.
The term "Seollal" generally refers to Eumnyeok Seollal (음력 설날, lunar new year), also known as Gujeong (Hangul: 구정; Hanja: 舊正). Less commonly, "Seollal" also refers to Yangnyeok Seollal (양력 설날, solar new year), also known as Sinjeong (Hangul: 신정; Hanja: 新正).
Korean New Year generally falls on the day of the second new moon after winter solstice, unless there is a very rare intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in the lead-up to the New Year. In such a case, the New Year falls on the day of the third new moon after the solstice; the next occurrence of this will be in 2033.
Korean New Year is typically a family holiday. The three-day holiday is used by many to return to their hometowns to visit their parents and other relatives, where they perform an ancestral ritual called charye. Many Koreans dress up in colorful traditional Korean clothing called hanbok. But nowadays, small families tend to become less formal and wear other formal clothing instead of hanbok.
Tteokguk (soup with sliced rice cakes) is a traditional Korean food that is customarily eaten for the New Year. According to Korean age reckoning, the Korean New Year is similar to a birthday for Koreans, and eating tteokguk is part of the birthday celebration. Once you finish eating your tteokguk, you are one year older. On January 1, People prepare some food and eat. They entertain a visitor who visit to bow for New Years to food. In this bout, they prepare tteokguk certainly.
Korean New Year is a very important day so Korean ancestors made an alcohol called ‘soju’. Soju means a welcoming spring so Korean ancestor thought that if they drank Soju, they could drive out mysterious disease and bad aura. They drank this alcohol cool.
Sebae is a traditionally observed activity on Seollal, and is filial piety oriented. Children wish their elders (grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents) a happy new year by performing one deep traditional bow (rites with more than one bow involved are usually for the deceased) and the words saehae bok mani badeuseyo (Hangul: 새해 복 많이 받으세요) which translates to "have a blessed New Year". Parents typically reward this gesture by giving their children new year's money, or "pocket money", (usually in the form of crisp paper money) in luck bags made with beautiful silk design and offering words of wisdom, deokdam. Historically, parents gave out rice cakes (ddeok) and fruit to their children instead. Before and during the bowing ceremony, children wear hanboks as a respectful way to appreciate ancestors and elders.
Folk games 
Many traditional games are associated with the Korean New Year. The traditional family board game yunnori is still a popular game nowadays, especially during Korean New Year. It is played using different types of specially designed sticks. Traditionally men and boys would fly rectangle kites called yeonnalligi, and play jegichagi, a game in which a light object is wrapped in paper or cloth, and then kicked in a footbag like manner. Korean women and girls would have traditionally played neolttwigi, a game of jumping on a seesaw (시소), and gongginori, game played with five little gonggi (originally a little stone, but today many buy manufactured gongi in shops) while children spin paengi (팽이).[further explanation needed]