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Korean New Year – Everything You Need to Know About Seollal

New Year in Korea is also known as Seollal (설날)

This special holiday commemorates the first day of the Korean Lunar Calendar  and this year it will fall on February 1. 

It is the most important traditional Korean holiday which usually lasts for 3 days.





Christmas in Korea is a time for celebrating with friends or for going on dates while Seollal, is more of a family celebration. 

It’s a time for happiness and festivities!

Fun Fact: 

Korean Lunar New Year is the Korean version of Chinese New Year

Continue reading until the end to know how we celebrate this holiday.



Charye is a memorial service that prays for the peace and good health of the ancestors, food is set out in a table as a gift. 

The ceremony begins with deep bows and the ritual includes prayers and offerings for the ancestors.

On the New Year’s Day, we usually greet each other by saying “Saehae bok mani badeuseyo” (새해 복 많이 받으세요) or “Please receive a lot of luck in the New Year’s Day” just like how you say “Happy New Year!” on New Year’s Day.


Tteokguk is a combination of the words tteok (sticky rice cake) and guk (soup).

It’s a dish that’s always present on a celebration like this.

The long rice cake called garaetteok (가래떡) symbolizes longevity while the pieces of garaetteok, which are circular, symbolizes coins and money.






Family gatherings in any culture commonly revolve around food.

The festival is mainly focused on meeting the family members after a long time, celebrating by eating food, and honoring ancestors through ancestral rites.





Sebae (세배) is an act of deeply bowing to your elders. It is an important tradition during the New Year which signifies respect.

The bow differs depending on whether you are male or female. Children get sebaetdon (세뱃돈) or New Year’s money as a Seollal gift.


To celebrate this big day, we commonly wear Hanbok (한복) – South Korea’s traditional clothing.




Seollal is a perfect time for families to play some fun games together to build quality time.


        ·  Jegichagi (제기차기) - A game where you kick a shuttlecock and try and keep it in the air for as long as possible.

        ·  Yut Nori (윳놀이) – A traditional board game with four wooden sticks instead of two dice.


        ·  Ssireum (씨름) – This is a Korean version of wrestling and the traditional national sport of Korea 

        ·  Neolitwiggi (널뛰기) - A jumping game similar to see-sawing.

        ·  Hwatu (화투) – Often called as Go-Stop, a card game which uses 48 cards with 12 different families, or groups, symbolizing the months of a year. 



I suddenly think about the old days when these games are our way to have fun as kids, it’s such a precious moment!

Many of these games are still played in today’s generation not just in Korea but also in other countries.




Since many places are closed during Seollal, it is best to check online to see if the place that you are planning to visit is open before you travel.

We celebrate Seollal with great joy, these traditions and customs practiced during New Year helps increase our love and respect for each other. 

I hope you had enjoyed this topic and learn a lot!

새해 많이 받으세요 

Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!


Date Posted: January 28, 2022

Author: Kmall Korean Marketer Mili


Korean New Year – Everything You Need to Know About Seollal

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