You just watched a video I made while visiting a family for the Lunar New Year.
Korea recently celebrated the Lunar New Year, 설날, Seollal. It is the first day of the Lunar Holiday. People back home probably know of it as the Chinese New Year.
Given the close historical ties between Korea and China through the centuries and the passage of ideas and culture, it is clear that much of the same traditional exist between the two. This year is the Year of the Roster.
It is one of the two large celebrations in Korea. Families typically gather at the eldest son’s house with the grandparents. Many wear the traditional clothing Hanbok and partake in a bowing ceremony to honor the grandparents. Afterwards the children of the family receive money as gifts for the New Year. Then there is a lot food, family activity, perhaps a visit the family ancestral burial ground to honor the ancestors and more food!
I was invited by a friend of mine, Areum, to spend the weekend with her and her family in the Southern Ocean City of Ulsan. We got to ride the fastest train in Korea, the KTX. It went around 170 mph!
While visiting I got to meet the members of her very large family and extended family. I ate so much I thought I was going to burst on multiple occasions.
For all the subtle differences there was so much in common with family gatherings back home. We ate together, laughed together and shared stories about what had happened over the year. It really was a beautiful time spent.
(Areum’s family. Her other sister took the picture and her older brother was in the Czech Republic and couldn’t come. )
Besides the main festivities on Saturday, Areum and her family took me on mini vacations as documented in the photos below.
Exercising before all the food!
Taehwa River Seepri Bamboo Grove
Bamboo Forest – 대나무숲 –
Taehwa River –
This is the whale bridge. Ulsan has a special attachment to Whales. There are prehistorical drawings of them and they have a Whale festival every year.
Oegosan Onggi Village (외고산옹기마을)
Onggi Potts are the traditional kimchi and sauce pots. Onggi Village is famous for its tradition of making the clay pots.
Broken Shards of pottery.
Just chilling in a kiln with Dream, Areum’s little sister.
Who has the best face?
Magpies 까치 kkachi are everywhere in Korea!
Ganjeolgot – The Ocean at Ulsan
Maybe my packages won’t get lost!
There are many myths and legends surrounding the sea and dragons.
I feel very blessed that I was invited and welcomed into the family to celebrate a pretty intimate family holiday. Thank You Areum!