How to Decorate the House for the Korean New Year


One of the most significant festivals for Korean communities all over the globe is the Lunar New Year, often known as the Korean New Year. According to 90 Day Korean, it is considered to be one of the most important festivals in Korea. In the year 2021, it was on the 12th of February, and in the year 2002, it was on the 1st of February on a Tuesday. Traditions and festivities surrounding this holiday, which is also known as “Seollal,” centre on bringing in favourable fortune for the year to come. Observing age-old customs, feasting on time-honored dishes, and decking up one’s house in festive garb are three of the most effective methods to infuse this occasion with deeper significance.

Korean Holidays and Traditions

The following are the national holidays that will be celebrated in Korea in 2021, as compiled by the writers at Imagine Your Korea, the Korea Tourism Organization:

Chuseok and Seollal are considered to be two of the most significant and significant traditional festivals for Koreans. Chuseok, often known as “Korean Thanksgiving Day,” is a holiday that honours a successful harvest. The scholars at Asia Culture date the origins of the festival back to the days when Korea was primarily an agricultural society. The 15th of August was said to have been significant in the past since it was the night of a full harvest moon. On that particular day, families got together for a remembrance service known as a “charye,” during which they celebrated a bountiful crop and expressed gratitude to their forebears.

The holiday of Chuseok is always celebrated on September 24 in Korea. They make unique dishes, such as a scrumptious rice cake called songpyeon that is cooked in a steaming pot and contains pounded rice, red beans, chestnuts, and sesame seeds. During the Christmas season, friends and family get together to make and consume festive foods, as well as to give and receive presents. Fresh fruit, high-quality meat, and food gift packages are three of the most typical presents given on the Jewish holiday of Chuseok.

Seollal: Korean Lunar New Year

Both Chuseok and Seollal are occasions to celebrate with one’s family. Because people of Korean descent who now reside in other countries often make the trip back to Korea, this period of time tends to be rather hectic. Anyone who wishes to go to the nation during either of these seasons should definitely make every effort to reserve their accommodations well in advance.

Charye, which refers to the worship of a family’s ancestors, is considered to be one of the most significant rituals associated with the Korean Lunar New Year. In order to demonstrate respect for the family’s ancestral tablets, the participants lay out food on a table in front of the tablets, and family members bow deeply in front of the tablets. On Sebae, which is equally significant, younger members of the community will go down on one knee and give a profound bow to their elders, with their hands touching the ground.

A significant number of Koreans carry out these rites while dressed in the conventional garb of their country. After bowing to the younger members of the group, the more experienced members extend their best wishes for the coming year to them. Additionally, they could hand out envelopes containing monetary presents.

More Seollal Traditions

As is the case with many other festivals, Seollal is connected with the consumption of several traditional dishes. Tteokguk, a soup prepared with beef, seaweed, and sliced rice cake, is a traditional dish enjoyed by families during the Seollal holiday. The Korean dish known as jeon has the appearance of pancakes and is cooked with spring onions, fish, and kimchi. Yunnori, a cooperative card game, is one of the classic games that families like to play together.

The use of bright and vibrant colours in holiday décor is recommended for the Korean Lunar New Year since colours play an essential part in the celebration of this holiday. It has been said by contributors to Asian Inspirations that the colour red, which represents ardour and good fortune, is also often worn during athletic events. Bright hues like as green and yellow are ideal for use in Seollal as well. Because of its association with death and funerals, the colour black is never appropriate for use in holiday-themed clothes or decorations.

The term “hanbok” refers to the traditional attire of the Seollal people. Despite its stunning appearance, putting it on and wearing it may sometimes be a challenging and time-consuming task. As a direct consequence of this, the hanbok is often reserved for children during the holiday season. The lion dance and the dragon dance are two examples of another festival ritual that involves dancing. They are carried out in the hopes of fostering prosperity, intelligence, and authority.

Decorating the Home

The Seollal festival in South Korea runs for a total of three days. There are a lot of households that get ready for the celebration by decorating their houses in festive ways, and Koreans living in other countries do the same thing. The authors at Tandem advise its readers to prepare ahead for this occasion in the same way that they would plan ahead for Christmas décor. Since we are now in the first month of the new year, now would be an excellent opportunity to organise the home and get rid of everything that is no longer required.

Decorations during the Seollal festival that are utilised most commonly include red lanterns that are either made of paper or silk. You may get lanterns that have motifs and words related to fortunate outcomes. To make one more decoration using the colour red, cut a diamond shape out of a sheet of red construction paper. If you want to attract good luck into your house, you may write the Korean character for luck, which is f, in an upside-down position on the item. This figure is also printed on red banners and lanterns, which are hanging from entrances, and may be found around the area.

Making Korean New Year crafts is another fun way for children to contribute to the decorating process. Experts from the Chalk Academy demonstrate how to construct a pellet drum out of chopsticks, paint, paper plates, and wood glue, among other materials. Place these bright toys in various rooms of the home, and make use of them at parties and other special occasions. There are several websites, such as Chalk Academy, that provide colouring sheets that may be downloaded for free.

More Decorating Ideas

According to the authors from Serenata Flowers, flowers and holidays go hand in hand. For the celebration of Seollal, locate the vividly coloured blossoms that reflect good luck, such as peonies, which represent wealth and honour. Orchids are connected with good fortune, riches, fertility, and beauty, while lucky bamboo, a plant native to China, is said to promote happiness, vigour, and good health.

You may decorate your house for Seollal by attaching gold and red tassels to red lanterns, or you can hang them from doorknobs, flower arrangements, hooks, and other locations. Also seek for candles in red and gold, which look particularly nice over dinner with the family.

The New Year’s garlands are used for decoration, so seek for garlands in vibrant colours to hang on walls and in doors or arches. You may also hang lanterns and tassels with these garlands. Your property will seem even more festive with the addition of lovely pinpoint lights.

Yearly Korean Festivals

The authors of Travel Triangle provide an overview of many annual celebrations that take place in Korea. One of them is the Seongsan Sunrise Festival, which takes place at Seongsan Ilchulbong, Sunrise Peak in Jeju, from December 31 to January 2. This festival takes place in a more relaxed setting and includes activities such as a trek along a nature route, music, art, and folk dance.

The Hwacheon Sancheoneo, also known as the Ice Festival, takes place throughout the month of January as well. However, this event takes place on a frozen river in Hwacheon County, which is located in the province of Gangwon. Participants will cast their lines into trout streams, often using just their bare hands. Other activities include making snow tunnels, snow slides, and snowmen, as well as playing ice soccer and going sledding.

The Jeju Fire Event, which takes place on Jeju Island during the months of February or March and lasts for three days, is most likely the largest festival that is hosted in Korea. In celebration of the new year, the city of Jeju is set ablaze, and prayers are offered for abundant harvests, happiness, and good health. This is a representation of an ancient ceremony in which people burnt old grass in order to cleanse the land of pests and get it ready for the next cycle of cultivation. Tribal games, a torch march, and folk dance are going to be some of the highlights.