Folk holidays  ( Traditional New Year’s Day Customs in Korea )

The lunar New Year’s Day has been celebrated in Korea since its ancient states including Ancient Joson.

At dawn of the day the people paid tribute to the memory of their forefathers.

Then they tendered the New Year greeting to their seniors in their families and neighbours, to their relatives and to their mentors, wishing them good health and success in their work. This was an expression of their respect for their elders and of their beautiful manners.

After getting up early in the morning, they put on new clothes. What was attractive was women’s colourful clothes.

They cooked and ate special foods on this day‐rice cake soup, glutinous rice cakes, steamed rice cakes, fancy rice cakes, pancakes, candies, fruit punch, sweet rice drink, roasted meat, fruits and wine. Rice cake soup was the piece de resistance of the day’s menu. In the morning the married ones would go to their parents’ houses for breakfast. Those who came to tender the New Year greeting were served with these foods.

Folk games made the atmosphere of the day more enlivened. Adults played yut (a four-stick game) and janggi (Korean chess), while children went out for kite-flying, sleigh-riding, top-spinning and playing shuttlecock with the feet. Kite-flying, most popular among children, started early in winter, enjoying immense popularity with them between the lunar New Year’s Day and the 15th day of the first month of the year by the lunar calendar.

Today in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, greeting the lunar New Year’s Day, the public organs, residential areas and roads are decorated with national flags and various designs. The people spend the day playing games including folk games.

Many foreign tourists come to the DPRK to experience its people’s traditional New Year’s Day customs.

Korean folklore


Traditional foods



Traditional foods