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What is normal dinner time in Korea?


Korea is known for its rich culture, traditions, and food. Dining is an essential part of Korean culture, and dinner time holds a significant place in their routine. This article aims to provide an in-depth insight into the normal dinner time in Korea.

History of Korean dining culture

Korean dining culture dates back to ancient times, where they used to sit on the floor and eat their meals. With the influence of Western culture, dining tables and chairs have become a norm. However, traditional dining styles are still prevalent in some households, especially during special occasions.

Importance of dinner time in Korean culture

Dinner time is considered a crucial family bonding time in Korea. It is a time when family members gather around the table and share their daily experiences while enjoying delicious food. It is also an opportunity for parents to teach their children about manners and respect.

Typical dinner dishes in Korea

Korean cuisine is famous worldwide for its spicy and flavorful dishes. Some typical dinner dishes in Korea include Kimchi Stew, Bulgogi, Japchae, Bibimbap, and Samgyetang. These dishes are usually served with rice and various side dishes.

Timing of normal dinner time in Korea

The usual dinner time in Korea is between 6 pm to 8 pm. However, it varies depending on the lifestyle and work schedule of individuals. Some people prefer having early dinners due to work commitments, while others enjoy late-night dinners with friends or family.

Factors affecting dinner time in Korea

Several factors affect the timing of dinner in Korea. These include work schedules, school timings, traffic conditions, and social obligations. The younger generation in Korea tends to have a more flexible approach towards their meal timings.

Korean dining etiquette

Korean dining etiquette is essential to follow, especially when dining with elders or in a formal setting. Some essential etiquettes include using chopsticks and spoons correctly, not blowing your nose at the table, and waiting for the eldest person to start eating before beginning your meal.

Special occasions and dinner time

Special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and festivals hold great significance in Korean culture. These events usually involve elaborate meals with multiple courses and traditional dishes. Dinner time on these occasions can vary depending on the event and the traditions followed.

Changes in dinner time due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the dining culture in Korea, with many restaurants closing early or limiting their services. It has also led to an increase in home cooking and delivery services, resulting in more flexible dinner timings.

Regional differences in dinner time

Regional differences also play a significant role in determining dinner time in Korea. For example, people from Busan tend to have dinner earlier than those from Seoul. The cuisine and cultural practices of different regions also influence their dinner timings.

The future of dinner time in Korea

As Korea undergoes rapid modernization and globalization, there are concerns that traditional dining practices may fade away. However, with the younger generation showing an interest in their cultural heritage, there is hope that dinner time will continue to hold a special place in Korean culture.


In conclusion, dinner time is an essential aspect of Korean culture that holds great significance for families and individuals alike. The timing of dinner varies depending on various factors, including work schedules, social obligations, and regional differences. Nevertheless, it remains a time for gathering, sharing experiences, and enjoying delicious food.

How often do Koreans eat a day?

In Korean culture, there is no differentiation between breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it is common to consume rice during all three meals. Meals may also include a serving of soup, and hot pots, such as jjigae or jungol, are placed in the center of the table for communal sharing.

What time do Koreans eat breakfast?

There is no fixed time for breakfast in Korea, as it varies between individuals. Typically, Koreans eat breakfast sometime between 8 AM and noon, and often follow it up with a hot beverage such as coffee or tea.

How long is lunch in Korea?

The first class of the day begins at 8:30 am, followed by lessons that are 45 minutes in length with 10-minute intervals in between. At 12:30 pm, there is an hour-long lunch break.

What is Korean dining etiquette?

In Korean dining culture, it is customary to use both a spoon and chopsticks. It is considered impolite to use your fingers, and the spoon is typically used for rice and soup while the chopsticks are used for everything else. It is important to avoid using both utensils simultaneously.

Do Koreans brush their teeth after every meal?

The 3-3-3 brushing method campaign is commonly advised for the general public in Korea, focusing on the frequency and duration of toothbrushing. This entails brushing three times per day, within three minutes after meals, for at least three minutes each time.

Do Koreans eat rice at every meal?

In Korea, rice is the main focus of every meal. The dinner table is called a “bapsang,” which means “rice table,” because all the side dishes, soups, stews, and proteins are meant to complement the bowl of rice. Although a simple bowl of rice can be a meal, it is not considered a complete meal without rice.

Korean cuisine has gained popularity worldwide, and many people have started adopting the Korean dining culture. The rise of Korean pop culture has also contributed to the interest in Korean food and dining practices. As a result, many Korean restaurants have opened up globally, offering authentic Korean dishes.

However, it is essential to note that Korean dining is not just about the food but also about the social aspect. Unlike in some cultures, dinner time in Korea is not just about eating and leaving the table. It is about spending quality time with family and friends while sharing stories and experiences.

Apart from the cultural aspect, dinner time in Korea also has health benefits. Korean cuisine is known to be healthy due to its emphasis on fresh ingredients, vegetables, and fermented foods like Kimchi. Eating together as a family has also been shown to have positive effects on mental health and overall well-being.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of solo dining in Korea, where people prefer to eat alone or with their gadgets. However, this trend has faced criticism for going against traditional dining practices that prioritize social interaction.

In conclusion, dinner time in Korea is not just about satisfying hunger but also about connecting with loved ones and sharing experiences. While modernization and globalization may bring changes in dining practices, it is essential to preserve the cultural heritage of Korean dining.

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