In Korea, Lunar New Year (설날; transliteration: “Sohl-nahl”) festivities have come and gone. It’s been more than a week since 설날, but since this traditional holiday’s essence is family and community, Koreans will continue to ask each other, “How did you celebrate Lunar New Year?” or, “How do you celebrate New Year’s Day?” (“당신은 어떻게 설날 기념하나요?”; transliteration: “Dangshin-eun eotteohge sohl-nahl ginyeomnayo?”)
- Black dragon = 흑룡 (transliteration: heugl yong)
Black dragon year = 흑룡 해 (transliteration: heugl yong hae)
- A useful list of Korean Lunar New Year greetings is posted below and on my Scribd account: http://scr.bi/ApdZkF.
- And, easy to follow directions for 윷놀이 are posted on my Scribd account: http://scr.bi/zVfWU0 . (Note: 윷놀이 is a traditional Korean game played on 설날. It is played with family, and is popular with kids and adults alike. 윷놀이 is played with four wooden sticks, four tokens, and a board. Playing this game ensures harmony with nature, as the sticks represent the four seasons.)
I hope you enjoyed 설날 as much as I did—I embed myself into as many 설날 activities as I could this year. On my quest to be “more Korean”, I did the following:
- Cooked 떡만두국; duk mandu guk
(Details & a recipe are listed in our previous blog article titled, Korean New Year: A Traditional Soup Recipe.)
- Wore a new outfit
(It is customary in Korea to wear a new outfit on 설날 for “new beginnings”!)
- Cleaned my home
(It is customary in Korea to clean your home on 설날 Eve.)
- Brought my shoes indoors
(Bringing shoes indoors on 설날 Eve prevents restless spirits from “filling shoes”.)
- Played 윷놀이 with a group of adults and children!
- Wore a Hanbok, i.e., tried one on!
(Most modern South Koreans will not wear a Hanbok on 설날, but parents will often dress their young children in Hanboks on 설날.)
If you have any questions, or if you would like to share your thoughts or photographs with this community, please post them on this blog—or send me a “tweet” via Twitter. You might meet a new friend! : )
P.S. Next week, I will write about Korean Calligraphy!