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National Holidays/Public Holidays

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In Republic of Korea, a variety of events (seasonal customs) are held on the different holidays and seaons. Republic of Korea uses both solar and lunar calendars, but most of the holidays and seasonal events are held according to the lunar calendar.

National Holidays

Lunar New Year’s Day (January 1, lunar calendar)
  • Meaning : the first day of the New Year
  • Food : tteokguk(rice-cake soup), dumplings
  • What to do : wear new clothes, bow to one’s elders, visit the family grave site (ancestor’s graves), play yut (traditional board game)
Chuseok (August 15, lunar calendar)
  • Meaning : the day when Koreans express gratitude for the year’s harvest
  • Food : fresh autumn grains and songpyeon (type of rice cake)
  • What to do : hold memorial service, visit the family grave site, perform traditional Korean circle dance under the full moon of the night of Chuseok

Public Holidays

  • Independence Movement Day (March 1, solar calendar) : Holiday celebrating Republic of Korea’s declaration of independence from Japan on March 1, 1919, which led to a widespread independence movement across the nation
  • Buddha’s Day (April 8, lunar calendar) : Celebrates Buddha’s birthday
  • Children’s Day (May 5, solar calendar) : A day to celebrate children and promote their happiness
  • Memorial Day (June 6, solar calendar) : A day to commemorate those who died serving the country, including the people killed during the Korean War
  • National Liberation Day (August 15, solar calendar) : Holiday celebrating Republic of Korea’s liberation from Japanese Colonial rule on August 15, 1945
  • National Foundation Day (October 3, solar calendar) : Holiday celebrating the foundation of Gojoseon by Dangun, the ancestor of the Korean people, also known as “the day when the sky opened”
  • Hangeul Proclamation Day (October 9, solar calender) : A day to celebrates Korean language.
  • Christmas (December 25, solar calendar) : Celebrating the birth of Jesus
Update : 2015.01.16

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