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Korea’s Special Holidays

By: Annie


Credit: Wix

If you are Korean, you might know what I’m talking about. Today, I will introduce you to 4 special holidays that only Korea celebrates. I will tell you briefly about what holidays I will present to you. They are Seollal (설날), Liberation day (광복절), Chuseok (추석), and Hanguel day (한글날). You may not be interested or know anything about this. But give it a try! I’m sure that after you read my article, you will certainly know a lot more about it than most Korean kids.

First of all, the Lunar New Year “Seollal” (설날) is one of the most important traditional holidays in South Korea. The beginning of the Lunar New Year varies every year depending on the cycles of the moon. This year, the celebrations were on February 1st, 2022, the holiday is three days; the day before the Lunar New Year’s Day, the day itself, and the day after. According to my interview about traditions of Korean holidays, in the Joseon dynasty, the palace of South Korea held a festival called ‘Jobok.’ As I said, this holiday is the biggest holiday held in Korea. At this time, people make sure to visit their hometown. Also, they are always busy making food for their ancestors who are dead. Korea had a tradition that the dead will come to eat food from their house at Seollal. Additionally, children receive cash from their grandparents and eat Korean rice cake soup. That’s because people from the past believe that if you don’t eat Korean rice cake soup, you can’t get older.

Another holiday is National Liberation Day in South Korea falls on August 15 annually and is also known as ‘Gwangbokjeol,’ which translates to ‘bringing back the light.’ This name represents the end of the darkness of Japan’s rule over South Korea. North Korea and South Korea had fought against Japan for 35 years. Despise the extreme cruelty of Japan, Korea finally earned precious freedom. After exactly 3 years after the liberation day, the Republic of Korea was finally established. National Liberation Day is one of the few national holidays that is shared with North Korea, which is on August 15. This holiday is celebrated with festivities, ceremonies, and parades across the nation.

Third, the holiday I am going to introduce to you now is Chuseok. Chuseok is the second most important holiday in South Korea after Seollal. Chuseok is held from September 9 to September 12. Like in Seollal, when it’s time to celebrate Chuseok, families get together to celebrate the holiday. According to Dawn Yoon, my interviewer, there is also a game that was played during Chuseok. It is called ‘Gang-gang–su-woll-le’ (강강수월래) This game was played by women. They danced under the full moon in circles while holding hands. This game was invented not just for fun, but also for fighting off the Japanese. In addition, some traditional foods from Chuseok are rice cakes and songpyeon (송편). Songpyeon is a type of rice cake filled with sweet bean filling.

Finally, this last holiday is called Hangul Day is a holiday which commemorates the Korean Alphabet every year on October 9th. It is a national holiday that is a day off in South Korea. It is also known as "Hangul Proclamation Day". King In 1443, King Sejong decided that it would be best for Korea if they had their own language. By 1446, the new alphabet was completed and proclaimed the official writing system of Korea. Even though people celebrate Hangul day by hanging the flag on their windows, the importance of Hangul and respect for king Sejong still remain in all Korean’s hearts.

Seollal, March 1st movement day, Liberation day, Chuseok, Hangul day is just some of the special holidays just for Korea. Don’t you want to know more about the rest of the holidays in Korea?

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