Korean Lunar New Year Brings Families Together
February 5, 2008
SEOUL, Korea (Army News Service, Feb. 5, 2008) -- Korea has two different New Year's days and Feb. 7 is celebrated as Lunar New Year, the first day of the lunar calendar, called "Sul Nal."
On Sul Nal, Koreans enjoy activities and games.
Young people take advantage of the time off to go skiing or traveling, The highways and railroads are full of travelers visiting their families.
The morning of Sul Nal, everyone dresses in Korean traditional clothes.
During a ceremony called "Cha Reh," food and liquor offerings are placed on a table in honor of the last four generations of ancestors.
After Cha Reh, families share the food and drinks on the table. This is called "Eum Bok," which means "partake of sacrificial food and drink," and represents the continuity of family virtue and togetherness.
After Cha Reh, the family has rice-cake soup for breakfast. Following breakfast, the young offer formal bows, called "Jol" to the older generation and this is called "Sae Bae." They do this to wish the elders good health, long life and good luck through the whole year.
Sul Nal is a time of family bonding for Koreans and an opportunity to share some words of virtue with friends and colleagues.
(Sohn, Joon Hyung serves with the 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office.)