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Winter rites

18 0 0
By Bernard Rowan

I'd like to discuss Korean ceremonies held during the winter months: Seollal, Daeboreum and what I'll call the new gwageo (study for civil service exams). The first two represent the lunar calendar and Korea's family and agricultural traditions. I'm sure the latter will surprise. However, winter is a time of hunkering down for academic and other pursuits. Let's explore Korean New Year's customs and the civil service exams.

New Year's for Koreans traditionally refers to the Lunar New Year, this year on Jan. 25. The three-day Seollal celebration includes the days before and following the 25th. The rites involve celebrating ancestors, to my mind like Chuseok. They feature venerating or honoring one's living elders (on the second day). They also involve spending time together, having celebratory meals and giving pocket money to grandchildren. Children and grandchildren may travel a long way to visit the elders (though I'm sure the elderly do as well in instances). The cost of travel, gifts, meals and other........

© The Korea Times