Seollal : Differences between the two Koreas

Seollal (the Korean Lunar New Year), which is an important festival among the Koreans, has just passed.  While the people living in North Korea and South Korea share the same ethnic origin and may have similar customs, there may be some cultural differences between people living in the two Koreas mainly due to the differences in their political systems.  Let’s discuss some key differences in the Seollal-related customs between the two Koreas in this blog post. If you want to know more about the Korean customs for Seollal in South Korea, you may refer to my blog posts dated 18 February 2015 and 23 February 2015, respectively. Continue reading

Merry X’mas (메리 크리스마스) from Seoul!

X’mas lighting on the walls of Myeongdong Shinsegae Department Store

Merry X’mas!  Tomorrow is the X’mas day – wish all of you Happy Holidays! Although X’mas is a western festival, in South Korea, X’mas is also a great day for celebration with the family members and friends.  If you are not in Seoul, hope you may be able to get some X’mas greetings from Seoul from the two photos in this blog post. Continue reading

PyeongChang 2018 is coming! Fighting!

If you have visited South Korea this year, you should have seen a white tiger and an Asiatic black bear (as shown in the above photo) in the streets and on the TV.  They are the mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics (평창 동계올림픽대회) and PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (평창 동계패럴림픽대회).  In fact, the South Korean government has put in a lot of efforts to promote these important events to be held in South Korea in 2018.  Let’s talk about some interesting things about these events in this blog post. Continue reading

Korean Birthday Celebrations

I would like to talk about the Korean-style birthday celebrations in this blog post. First of all, happy birthday to all having birthdays today.  The Koreans do have some special food to eat on their birthdays and there are several important birthdays on which bigger celebration parties are held. Continue reading

The Royal Culture Festival is back in Seoul!

Geunjeongmun of the Gyeongbokgung Palace

You may notice that a lot of Korean historical dramas and movies have the Joseon period as their settings.  The Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) was the last dynasty and the longest-ruling dynasty in the Korean history.  Given its long ruling period, it has left a lot of cultural legacy to modern Korea, for example, Hangeul, the Korean language, which was invented by King Sejong, and a lot of heritage in arts, literature, architecture, science and technology, etc.

If you want to learn more about the Joseon royal culture, you should participate in the annual Royal Culture Festival (궁중 문화축전) which is held from 28 April to 7 May 2017.   Continue reading

Let’s enjoy Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul!

In late April every year, the Lotus Lantern Festival (or in Korean,연등회 – Yeon Deung Hoe) is held in Seoul to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday (which falls on the 8th of the fourth month of the lunar calendar).  In 2017, this Festival will be held from 28 to 30 April. This Festival has a long history of over 1,200 years, beginning as a religious festival in the Silla Dynasty (57 BC – AD 935), and is designated as Korea’s National Intangible Cultural Property. Nowadays, it has become a festival to be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, whether they are Buddhists or not.

Every year the Festival has a theme/slogan, and for the 2017 Festival, it is “We Can Make a World without Discrimination” with the aim of promoting respect and kindness among the people.  During the Festival, a number of events and activities are held.  Let’s talk about some of the interesting events and activities in this post.   Continue reading

Let’s enjoy cherry blossom in South Korea!

 

Cherry Blossom at Gyeonghwa Station in Jinhae

It’s the cherry blossom season in South Korea again!  I have just updated 2 blog posts previously written on some cherry blossom-related interesting events, sightseeing spots, food and song.  You may click the following links to read the relevant posts:

Here comes the cherry blossom season in South Korea

More tips on cherry blossom spots in South Korea

The cherry blossom is now blooming in South Korea and the various cherry blossom festivals are in full swing.  If you would like to enjoy the Korean cherry blossom, now is the good time to go there!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

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