Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What's in a New Year?

First and foremost... HAPPY NEW YEARS! This concludes that in just 32 days me and my partner will be shipping out! And believe me.... I'm counting the days!! >.< Now while many of us are excited for the New Years making new goals and ambitions for the year ahead of us, we should take this time to reflect what New Years to the people of Korea means. What January 1st means to us is not the same for them.
In fact it's the lunar calendar which marks each new year for Korea and not the 1st of January. Though the 1st is celebrated as well, it's not as significant. You may be more familiar with the term "Chinese New Year" which is the more popular term in the USA.  Again, because I am from the USA, I am not too familiar what other countries may call the Lunar New Year, if you know any other names for it let us know in the comments box below and share you knowledge with us!

Chinese New Year Dragon
What is bothersome though is that the "Chinese New Year" is not shared by just China and often I have seen inquiries and heard that other people who share this similar concept of the Lunar New year feel over shadowed by China's celebration. It's important to know that several Asian countries such as Vietnam, Japan, Tibet,  Mongol, Indonesia, and many other countries including Korea celebrate the Lunar New Year and each have a different name for it. For Korea, the name is 설날or Seolnal.
What is also really cool about Korea's celebration of the New Year is that it is also nationally recognized as every one's...and I mean EVERY ONE'S birthday. Yes. If your 24 years old like Kimmi, you will then be 25 on the day of the new year. Pretty cool right? Two Birthdays for EVERYONE!!!! ^O^  Just for the record, I'd be 25 too, since I will be turning 24 before the new cycle of the Lunar year. *Disclaimer so my partner doesn't feel like I'm picking at her age.*

Example of a Male and Female Hanbok
The festivities of the new year in the US is celebrated on the day of, however in Korea the festivities for their new year lasts three days! Uniting with family, wearing beautiful and traditional garments called Hanboks (한복),  playing traditional games, performing rituals in honor of ancestors, and eating yummy foods, are a few to name practices. Many people also travel to the far east of the peninsula to see the dawning sun as a symbol of new things to come. 

So when is the Lunar New Year? Well... it varies. Okay I'm going to try my best to explain this... So there is 12 lunar months in the year, just as a Solar year. How each month is marked is from the first night of the month, the moon is at it's darkest, seeming there "is no moon". As each night passes, the moon will appear fuller until the fifteenth night which the moon is the fullest and at it's brightest peak. From this night the moon will regress back to the dark "absent" moon, which completes the cycle of one lunar month. Now taking note, when the moon is full or is least full, it doesn't quiet match up with our Solar months, So the date for the Lunar New Year is marked when the 12 months of the Lunar Calendar have completed it's 12 Month long cycle. 

Have I blabbed on long enough about this? Ha, I think so. So for the finale... this year's Lunar New Year and Happy Big Birthday to the Korean peoples is... **Drum Roll*...... February 10th! Just 8 days after me and Kimmi arrive in Korea. Oooohhhhhhh Yeeaaah! SO PUMPED FOR THIS!
So for now... 새해 복 많이 받으세요! *Happy New Year!*


  1. :D 새해 복 많이 받으세요! Haha, even though the day's almost over :|
    I'm excited for you guys ^^ Going to be in Korea for 설날. Make sure to eat 떡국 ok? (I already annoyed Kimi with this xD haha) Lol, you should also totally do 절 over skype to your families xP Just kidding, but if you guys do that, win for the both of you!
    Oh, question, where are you going to stay in Korea? Seoul? Or are you doing like a host family type deal...? :)

    1. Hey! No me and Kimmi are working as English teachers and will be living in a place of our own. The program that we're working for, TaLK, is a governmental program that works to increase English education to areas that have less exposure to it, such as the country sides of Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do. Though Seoul really would be awesome, me and Kimmi are going to be placed to teach somewhere in Jeollabuk-do. But this doesn't mean we're not just as excited as ever to go and experience everything Korea has to offer us. We will be making frequent trips to the cities and other various places where we think will enrich our experiences.

      As for the Deukkook, should we video tape ourselves trying it out for the first time? Well, I don't know about Kimmi, but I've never tried it. There will be another post to come about our Lunar New Year celebration, most likely in a video format. ^ㅈ^

    2. Hahahaha! I second everything Jazz says, and yeah...I've yet to try it, but I want to!!!

      I also have a video camcorder that is easy to use and fast to upload, so you but your BUTT I'll be adding videos! It's so much easier then trying to remember things later, or to try and describe something when you can just as easily see it via video ;)

    3. :D that'd be great if you guys could do something like vlogs! Like a "Just Hatched in Korea" channel on Youtube x3 it would be so cool.

      And that's cool that you're going to Jeollabuk-do! I've been there before, it was brief, but great :) very pretty. Maybe you guys will see the countryside too :D that's what I love about Korea - it has a fantastic city life, but a really beautiful countryside ^^

    4. We will have vlogs, pictures, and posts. And I already have a youtube channel prepped for when we start filming. :) w00t w00t.