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How long does South Korea celebrate Christmas?

The Celebration of Christmas in South Korea

South Korea is a country that is well-known for its unique culture and traditions. While Christmas is not a national holiday in South Korea, it is still widely celebrated by many people across the country. In this article, we will explore the length of time that South Korea celebrates Christmas and the various traditions associated with the holiday season.

Introduction to Christmas in South Korea

South Korea is a predominantly Buddhist and Confucian country, which means that Christmas is not a widely celebrated holiday. However, due to the influence of Western culture and the large number of Christians in the country, Christmas has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many people in South Korea celebrate Christmas as a time for family gatherings, gift-giving, and spreading cheer.

The Start of Christmas Season

The Christmas season in South Korea usually begins in early December, with many stores and businesses decorating their storefronts with festive decorations and playing Christmas music. Some people even put up Christmas trees in their homes or offices to get into the holiday spirit.

Christmas Eve Celebrations

Christmas Eve is a special time in South Korea, especially for couples. Many couples go out for romantic dinners or take walks under the beautiful Christmas lights adorning the streets of major cities like Seoul. Some churches also hold midnight masses on Christmas Eve, which are attended by both Christians and non-Christians alike.

Christmas Day Festivities

While Christmas Day is not a public holiday in South Korea, many people still celebrate it as a special occasion. Families often gather together to exchange gifts and share a festive meal. Some people even attend church services on Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Boxing Day Traditions

Boxing Day, which is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, is not typically celebrated in South Korea. However, some expats and tourists may choose to mark the occasion by having a traditional British-style Boxing Day meal or participating in other festive activities.

Post-Christmas Sales

After Christmas is over, many stores in South Korea hold sales where customers can find great deals on clothing, electronics, and other items. These sales are often referred to as “end-of-year sales” and can last for several weeks after Christmas Day.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

New Year’s Eve is another major holiday in South Korea, and many people celebrate it with parties and fireworks displays. In Seoul, there is a huge countdown event held at City Hall Plaza, which attracts thousands of people every year.

New Year’s Day Traditions

New Year’s Day is a public holiday in South Korea, and many people use this day to rest and spend time with their families. Some families may also participate in traditional Korean New Year’s customs, such as bowing to their ancestors or eating tteokguk (a traditional rice cake soup).

Epiphany Celebrations

Epiphany, which is also known as Three Kings’ Day or the Feast of the Magi, is not widely celebrated in South Korea. However, some Christians may attend church services on this day to commemorate the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus.

The End of the Christmas Season

The Christmas season officially comes to an end on January 6th, which is known as Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany. While this day is not typically celebrated in South Korea, some churches may hold special services to mark the end of the Christmas season.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Christmas is not a national holiday in South Korea, it is still widely celebrated by many people across the country. The Christmas season in South Korea typically lasts from early December until January 6th, with many traditions and customs associated with the holiday season. Whether you are a local or a tourist, there are many ways to celebrate Christmas in South Korea and experience the unique culture and traditions of this fascinating country.

Does Korea get Christmas off?

Similar to many other nations, Christmas is recognized as a public holiday in Korea. During this time of year, there are numerous Christmas trees and lights displayed throughout the country to commemorate the holiday season.

How does South Korea celebrate Christmas?

Christmas is not widely celebrated as a religious holiday in Korea, but rather as a day to spend with loved ones. It is not considered a significant enough holiday for people to travel to their hometowns.

Is Christmas a big thing in Korea?

In Korea, Christmas is recognized as a national holiday, allowing employees to take the day off and spend time with loved ones. This is one of the main ways that Christmas in Korea resembles celebrations in other countries around the world.

What is the biggest holiday in Korea?

Korean Thanksgiving Day, also known as Chuseok, is a significant and lively holiday celebrated annually.

Is Christmas for couples in Korea?

Christmas became popular in Korea before Christianity did, making it more of a secular holiday for those who are not religious. Unlike in other countries, Christmas in Korea is not primarily focused on family, but instead is viewed as a day for couples, similar to Valentine’s Day.

What is Santa called in Korea?

In Korea, Santa Claus is a familiar figure but he may sport red or blue attire. He is referred to as 산타 클로스 (santa kullosu) or 산타 할아버지 (Santa Grandfather). A preferred festive treat is the Christmas Cake, although it is typically a sponge cake with cream topping purchased from a nearby bakery.

Christmas Markets

One of the most popular ways to celebrate Christmas in South Korea is by visiting the many Christmas markets held throughout major cities like Seoul and Busan. These markets are filled with vendors selling holiday decorations, gifts, and tasty treats like hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. Visitors can also enjoy live performances, carol singing, and other festive activities.

Light Festivals

Another popular way to celebrate Christmas in South Korea is by visiting the many light festivals held across the country. These festivals feature stunning light displays that transform parks, gardens, and other public spaces into magical wonderlands. Some of the most popular light festivals include the Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival and the Seoul Lantern Festival.

Korean Christmas Traditions

While many people in South Korea celebrate Christmas in a Western-style, there are also many unique Korean Christmas traditions that are still practiced today. One of these traditions is the giving of money to children in red envelopes or pouches, which is similar to the Chinese New Year tradition. Another tradition is the making and eating of Korean-style Christmas cakes, which are typically made with rice flour and topped with fruit or whipped cream.

Charity Events

Many organizations and charities in South Korea hold special events and fundraisers during the holiday season to help those in need. These events may include food drives, toy donations, or volunteering at local shelters or hospitals. Participating in these events is a great way to give back to the community and spread holiday cheer to those who may be less fortunate.

Couples’ Holidays

In addition to Christmas, South Korea also celebrates two other holidays that are focused on couples: White Day (March 14th) and Pepero Day (November 11th). These holidays are similar to Valentine’s Day and involve the exchange of gifts, chocolates, and other tokens of affection. Many couples also celebrate Christmas as a romantic holiday, with special date nights and gifts for their significant other.

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