An Exciting Four-Day Weekend Occurs on the Last Week of January.
On January 27th to 30th, South Korea celebrates the very first event in 2017. Lunar New Year is one of the most significant holidays for Korean people, also known as “Seollal” in Korea.
The primary purpose of Seollal is to pay respect for the ancestors together, however it has become the day for families to gather around. Since people today spend less time with each other, particular events are the only times to meet all the family members and inquire after the families.
Domestic Travel As Seollal is one of the celebrated holidays in Korea, it causes the busiest season for domestic travel to visit hometowns. The highways turn into endless traffic congestion by an array of cars. The trail stations and bus stations are also crowded with countless people. Every year on a long weekend, people bustle up “to book buses, trains, or plane tickets before they all sell out” (Celebrating Seollal in Korea: Glimpse of local New Year’s customs, Imagine your Korea, 16 Jan 2017).
Seollal Traditions There are some remained cultural traditions that Korean people do on Seollal. In the morning of the Seollal holiday, the families dress up in Hanbok which is a traditional grab to hold an ancestor rite for their relatives. After the memorial ceremony, the family members eat Tteokguk, the traditional Korean soup with thinly sliced rice cakes and also numerous other ritual foods such as Korean pancakes and seasoned vegetables (aka Jeon and Namul in Korean). Traditionally, Korean people believe Tteokguk as the food that brings up good fortune and adds one year to one’s age (Celebrating Seollal in Korea: Glimpse of local New Year’s customs, Imagine your Korea, 16 Jan 2017).
“Substitute Holiday” On January 29, the last day of Lunar New Year’s Day fell on Sunday. Since 2013, following the “Regulation on Closure Days for Public Offices”, the substitute holiday is applied when holidays overlap with on Sunday or official holidays (Sunny Lee, Korean labor law for Foreign Employers, October 14, 2014).
Nevertheless, the BIS Midterm will occur from February 1-3 which are right after the Lunar New Year holidays.
Work Cited: "Celebrating Seollal In Korea: Glimpse Of Local New Year’S Customs". VisitKorea. 2017, http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=941952. Accessed. 17 Jan. 2017. Lee, Sunny. "Substitute Holiday System Of Korea". Koreanlaborlaw.com. 2014, http://www.koreanlabor law.com/substitute-holiday-system-of-korea. Accessed. 17 Jan. 2017.