The Korean Cultural Center will be celebrating Seollal or the Lunar New Year, more commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year in the Philippines, on January 30 featuring special events and programs that will highlight several important traditions of thanks and giving.
Included in the activities are the hanbok-wearing event wherein participants will get to try out Korea’s traditional costume, and the Korean traditional pattern painting, which will feature a hands-on lecture on how to paint traditional Korean patterns usually used in hanbok. Traditional Korean games such as yutnori and jegi chagi will also be mounted on the day.
Seollal is the considered one of the most important national holidays in Korea, as it includes paying respect to ancestors as well as catching up with distant relatives who travel home for this occasion. Traditionally, Koreans wear seolbim or new clothes for the Seollal.
An important part of the Seollal is paying homage to the ancestors, called charye, where the rite includes a preparation of a table full of various foods such as tteokguk (rice-cake soup), vegetables and food. Tteokguk is the most representative food of Seollal, and is said to herald a prosperous New Year, whereas the white color of the tteok brings purity and cleanliness.
As part of the ancestral rite, the guests are encouraged to participate ineumbok because it is believed that drinking the liquor served to the ancestors help them to share in their ancestors’ values.
Following the charye, Koreans make a sebae (deep bow) to their elders as a New Year’s greeting. Children normally receive sebaetdon or New Year’s money. Also, a bamboo strainer called bokjori is normally hung on the front door in the belief that it will filter out bad luck and let in good luck for a whole year.
Seollal is also a time for Korean traditional games such as jegi-chagi,which is more similar to the local game sipa, as well as the yeonnalligi or kite-flying, where the players wish luck for the rest of the year. Also the game yutnori is played, a board game where the players race to move the stones around the board by first using the yut sticks, four half-moon shaped sticks, as dice.
For more information, call the Korean Cultural Center at 555-1711; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or log on to koreanculture.ph.