Korean New Year 2020

South Korea National Holiday in South Korea

South Korean New Year

When is Korean New Year ?

How long until Korean New Year ?
This holiday next takes place in 246 Days.
Dates of Korean New Year
Year Weekday Date
2020 Saturday January 25th
2019 Tuesday February 5th
2018 Friday February 16th
2017 Saturday January 28th
2016 Sunday February 7th
3 Days
Local Name
Known as Seollal, Korean New Year is the first day of the lunar Korean calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays
View our comprehensive list of Lunar New Year holidays by day
Tteok-Guk (Korean New Year’s Rice Cake Soup
Tteok-Guk (Korean New Year’s Rice Cake Soup
If you want to celebrate Seollal with this tasty treat, we recommend this recipe from Sherly's Kitchen

Known as Seollal, Korean New Year is the first day of the lunar Korean calendar.

It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year's Eve.

The Korean New Year holidays last three days. It is customary and may be required under collective bargaining agreements for South Korean businesses to close for the lunar new year.

Despite this festival having its origins in antiquity, Seollal was under threat as a holiday for about a century until the 1980s. It was effectively ignored during the period of Japanese rule as part of the cultural assimilation with the solar New Year pushed instead with three days of holidays. Lunar New Year was only reinstated as a one-day holiday called Folk's Day in 1985. It was named Seollal in 1989 when it was expanded to three days and solar New Year clipped back to two days.

In South Korea, the Lunar New Year festival centers on family reunions, food and placating the ancestors.

During the New Year festivities it is common for adults to wear the colourful traditional costume, the Hanbok. Traditional women's hanbok consists of a blouse shirt or a jacket and chima, a wrap-around skirt, which is usually worn full. Men's hanbok consists of a shirt and baji which means pants in Korea.

The soup that takes a year to eat

Tteokguk is a traditional Korean food that is customarily eaten for the New Year. The dish is a soup with thinly sliced rice cakes.

According to tradition the Korean New Year is similar to a birthday for Koreans, and having Tteokguk is part of the birthday celebration. Once you finish eating your Tteokguk, you are one year older.

New Year's Eve

Celebrations on New Year's Eve in Korea are similar to the western traditions such as parties and fireworks to welcome in the new year. A recent tradition is the ringing of the historic Boshingak Bell. The bell was originally constructed in 1396 and is now only rung on Lunar New Year.

Another New Year's eve custom is playing Yunnori, a traditional board game.

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