Korea in Brief
Korean Cuisine
Art & Craft
Big Event
Theme Tour
Who's Being Talked About?
This Day in History
Tourist Information
Incheon Int'l Airport
Gimpo Int'l Airport
Korea City Air Terminal
Foreign Tourist Bureau
Subway Map of Seoul
This Month Seoul in Breif Specific Maps of Seoul
Where to Stay What to Eat What to Do What to See What to Buy What to Know
 Home >> Attractions >> Korean culture
Ending the Year Seoul Style

The end of the year has a way of bringing out an excitement that is rarely seen at other times of the year. As in other countries, the atmosphere becomes electric with year end shopping and parties. Korea shares this same energy, and celebrates in much the same way as other nations.
Christmas carols can be heard echoing down the streets and back alleys. The shopping, which has been busy all year long, reaches a fever pitch, particularly in the department stores.   The holiday season has a different meaning in Korea than in other countries. Let's see what it is like in Korea at the end of year.

Christmas has a special meaning for young people in Korea besides the traditional Christian one.   When Korea was under military dictatorship in the 70's and early 80's, people were under a curfew and not allowed to travel outside from midnight to four o'clock in the morning.   

However during that time, people were free from the curfew on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.   That's why Christmas is very special for young people in Korea. During this time they exchange cards and gifts with each other and spend many hours downtown.   There, they mostly go to clubs to drink and dance.   If you want to get into the party spirit with a lot of other people, then the downtown areas like Jongno, Daehangno and Gangnam are great places to go. There is one thing you should be aware of should you desire to spend your Christmas Eve clubbing in Seoul, the cover and drink prices are twice as expensive as during other times of the year.   
The end of the year in Seoul has two other major events.   One is to send cards and gifts to people they care about.   Koreans take this very seriously.   Department stores nearly burst with the number of shoppers.   If you give a gift to a Korean friend at the end of the year, it means they are someone special to you.   

Another event is the striking of Boshingak Bell.   At midnight of the year's very last day, celebrities are invited to Jonggak (Jonggak Station of subway line 1) to strike the Boshingak Bell thirty-three times.   This event is broadcast throughout the country.   It originated during the Joseon Period(1392 ~ 1910).   The reason for striking the bell comes from the belief that a Buddhist Goddess struck herself thirty-three times to save humans from evil.

On New Year's Eve many events take place in front of Boshingak Bell so the streets around are closed to all automobile traffic.   
backsend mailprint

Copyright 2001 What's On Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
Write to Us post@whatsonkorea.com.