Monday February 8 is New Year’s Day, Seollal, in South Korea. This is derived from the lunar calendar and coincides with the Chinese New Year. However, Seollal, knows its own traditions.
Preparations start the week before Seollal. Family members and friends are giving each other presents which have to be bought. A lot of food has to be prepared. So the ingredients must be bought as well.
After work the day before the first day of the Seollal holiday most people return to their hometown to their parents. Traffic jams are to be expected and it is difficult to buy tickets for public transport at last moment.
First day people go to the ancestral graves to keep them neatly together. Also they start with preparing the food for the ancestral rites as well as for their meal together.
Seollal starts with paying homage to the ancestors in accordance with a ritual. Each family member is bowing in front of an altar with favored food and drinks.
Then they have a meal together.
The children are bowing to the elderly. They are rewarded with a small amount of money and wishes for a good year ahead. One of my teachers once told me they were always looking forward to this bowing rite!
During Seollal families and friends are spending time together dancing, singing and playing folk games.
I really hope Park Si Hoo and everyone of the Neighborhood Hero’s cast has been given time to rejoice with their families and celebrate the beginning of this New Year reigned by the Fire Monkey.
Let’s look forward to a healthy, prosperous and happy 2016! All the best for Park Si Hoo, his family, friends, collegues and all the people in the world!