South Korea officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.
Its neighbors are China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. The capital and largest city is Seoul.
Christmas Celebrations in South Korea :
With a majority of Buddhist or no religion, in Korea Christians make up about 25-30% of the population. Korea is the only East Asian country to recognize Christmas as a national holiday. Celebrating Christmas with Korean cultural awareness can introduce new meaning to the holiday. Many families who want to celebrate their Korean heritage or share unique cultures choose to incorporate Korean traditions into their holiday festivities.
Most churches will have a service on Christmas day. Going to Church for Christmas is becoming more popular, even among non Christians. Department stores put on big displays of decorations. There’s also an amazing display of lights in the capital city, Seoul. The lights are all over the city centre including the bridges over the Han River. Some people (especially Christians and westerns who live in South Korea) will have decorations at home including a Christmas tree.
Presents are exchanged and a popular present is money. Giving actually gifts has become more popular, but giving money is still very common. Santa Claus can also be seen around Korea but he might be wearing red or blue! He’s also known as santa kullosu or Santa Haraboji or Santa Grandfather. People living in South Korea Exchanging Christmas “Season’s Greetings” cards. Friends and family members may also exchange gifts for Christmas in Korea. Christian churches in Korea hold traditional evening services on Christmas Eve as well as mass on Christmas Day, which often includes a baptismal service.
A formal dinner is a popular way to celebrate the holiday with family members, though the menu usually includes popular Korean dishes such as sweet potato noodles, rice cake soup, barbecued beef (bulgogi), and spicy pickled cabbage (gimchi). A popular Christmas food is a Christmas Cake, but it’s often a sponge cake covered in cream brought from a local bakery. Or you might even have an ice cream cake from a shop like ‘Baskin Robbins’.
Because Christmas is a public holiday in South Korea, many businesses such as department stores and other retailers will decorate lavishly to attract customers with seasonal cheer. Youth groups frequently organize caroling parties for Christmas in Korea. Starting from the church, they will visit the homes of older church members singing Christmas carols. It is traditional to invite carolers in for hot drinks and treats.
Happy/Merry Christmas in Korean is ‘Sung Tan Chuk Ha’.
We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2016 & Prosperous New Year 2017 !!!