Today (22 January 2023) is Seollal (설날 – the Lunar New Year’s Day) in South Korea. It is a very important festival for the Koreans. I wish all my readers and their families a successful, wonderful and healthy Lunar New Year!
The Koreans adopt the 12 zodiac animals for the lunar calendar. The lunar calendar runs in a 12-year cycle with each year in the cycle being associated with one zodiac animal (in the order of rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep/goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig). This year (2023) is the Year of the Rabbit. The rabbit is a symbol of prosperity, longevity and wisdom in South Korea. People born in the year of the Rabbit are thought to be idealists, sentimental and quick-witted, and have particular talent in art and entertainment. They are also quick to grasp the situation at hand and can nimbly overcome their hardships. However, they can also be lazy and passive. Some well-known celebrities born in the year of Rabbit include members of K-pop idol groups like Seventeen’s Dino, Red Velvet’s Yeri, Twice’s Tzuyu, and Wanna One’s Park Ji-hoon, and Korean actors like Han Hyo-joo, Lee Seung-gi, Lee Min-ho, and Joo Won.
The National Folk Museum of Korea is now holding a special exhibition entitled “Here Comes a Rabbit” until 6 March 2023 which showcases about 70 rabbit-related works and records – it is divided into two parts: “The Rabbit’s Colourful Biology” and “The Rabbit’s Colourful Transformation” and there is also a special section entitled “Moon Rabbit” from which visitors can learn more about the folk tale of the mystical moon rabbit. You can get more information on the exhibition by clicking this link, and get a glimpse of the exhibition by watching this video.
You can find out more about the relevant Korean customs by reading my post on “How do the Koreans celebrate Seollal?”. Happy Year of the Rabbit! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! 🙂
Dong Sun-hwa, “Year of Rabbit: prosperity, longevity and wisdom“, The Korea Times, 2023-01-21
Lee Jae-lim, “[WHY] 2023 is the Year of the Black Rabbit: Here’s all you need to know“, Korea JoongAng Daily, 2023-01-14
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