Congratulations on the Korean New Year - Sollal!

 Unlike the Western tradition, where the New Year is associated with winter, in Korea this holiday denotes the turn of the year to spring. It is celebrated on different days, there is no single date for the holiday. This is due to the fact that the Eastern New Year is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, which changes in accordance with the phases. Usually, the holiday date falls on the end of January-mid-February.



Like Chhusok, Sollal is closely associated with the cult of veneration of ancestors. By tradition, the first thing they do in the new year is remember the deceased relatives, and then congratulate the rest. At the same time, a strict sequence is observed: first they pay respect to their grandparents, then to their parents, then to uncles and aunts, and only then to older brothers and sisters. Congratulations are necessarily accompanied by a bow of sebe. In response, senior relatives give money and give a teaching speech.

Sollal is a family holiday, so most Koreans try to visit the homes of parents and other close relatives.

However, unlike Chhusok, on this day they usually do not go to the cemetery: they spend the holiday at home, and remember the dead at special home altars, where they place food and incense.


New Year's traditions

In Korea, the main New Year's dish is considered tokkuk - soup with rice mites on beef broth. It is customary to start a festive meal with this treat. It is believed that the person who is the first to cope with the portion will get more luck in the new year than the rest. In Korea, it is not customary to celebrate Birthday magnificently, so the transition to the next step of life takes place on New Year's Day.

Often by the phrase "how much tokkuk have you eaten?" they mean "how old are you?."

On New Year's Day, it is customary to wear national clothes - hanbok, which in North Korea is called josonot. It used to be believed that every time it should be new, but nowadays the traditional outfit is rarely worn, so they are used several times. 

In such an outfit, traditional earthly bows are performed, expressing reverence to older relatives.

Usually, Koreans go to Sollal to the province, most often to the east coast of the peninsula to see the first rays of the New Year's sun.

They also visit older relatives who live far away. However, in North Korea, due to restrictions on moving around the country, not all residents can afford such a trip. An exception is usually made only for Chhusok when Koreans visit cemeteries.

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