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Archive for the 'Korean Holiday' Category

Gwangbokjeol: Celebrating Independence Day in Korea

The National Liberation Day of Korea celebrates the Korean liberation from Japan, and commemorates those who sacrificed to attain this freedom. This Korean liberation took effect only after many years of struggle and oppressive living conditions, making this newfound freedom that much sweeter.

Learn more about Korean Liberation Day with KoreanClass101.com, and gain insight into Korea’s history and how it shapes its culture today. We hope to make this lesson both fun and informative!

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1. What is Korean Liberation Day?

On this day, Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in World War II. At the same time, the Korean Peninsula was also freed from the domination of Japan. On Liberation Day, Koreans celebrate the granting of their long-held wish to be independent from Japan.

The Korean name of this holiday, Gwangbokjeol, is made of Chinese characters.
Gwang means “light” and Bok means “returning.” In other words, it means “the day the light came back.”

Did you know that even in the late 1990s, when the economic situation was bad enough to receive a bailout from the IMF, Koreans held a variety of events on National Liberation Day? This was done to encourage people in the economic crisis to overcome the hardship by reminding them of their ancestors, who overcame the harsh Japanese colonial period without losing hope.

2. When is Korean Liberation Day?

August 15, 1945

Each year on 15 August, Koreans celebrate their Liberation Day.

3. Traditions & Significance of Liberation Day

On National Liberation Day, many people visit the Independence Hall in Cheonan City. This is where people honor the activists who fought for the independence of the Republic of Korea. In particular, families come to visit with their children to instill a sense of respect and inspiration in them toward their country and those who sacrificed for its freedom.

Koreans raise the national flag on this day, as they do on Independence Movement Day and Korea Memorial Day. The flag is particularly prevalent in South Korea, though it can be seen around the world.

Since Liberation Day takes place in August, one of the most popular vacation months, it’s not uncommon for Koreans to gather in places around the world to celebrate this holiday. So if you happen to be in Paris, France on August 15, don’t be surprised to see a Liberation Day celebration taking place here! The Eiffel Tower is a hotspot for Liberation Day celebrations.

4. Outstanding Korean Activist

Firework Celebration

Of the independent activists, there was one man who organized the national liberation army, the independence army, and established the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea to establish the independence of the Korean peninsula. Do you know who that man is?

Kim Koo was the activist who argued strongly for the independence of the Republic of Korea to the world leaders who took the Japanese domination of the Korean peninsula for granted at the time. That is why Kim Koo has always been selected as the representative figure of Koreans’ respect.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Liberation Day in Korea

Map of Colony

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Liberation Day in Korea!

  • 광복절 (gwangbokjjeol) — Liberation Day
  • 독립 기념관 (dongnip ginyeomgwan) — Independence Hall of Korea
  • 식민지 (singminji) — colony
  • 전쟁 (jeonjaeng) — war
  • 항복 (hangbok) — submission
  • 대한민국 정부 수립 (daehanminguk jeongbu surip) — Republic of Korea Government establishment
  • 기념 (ginyeom) — remembrance
  • 해방 (haebang) — liberation
  • 일본 제국주의 (ilbon jegukjuui) — Japanese imperialism
  • 독립 운동 (dongnip undong) — independence movement
  • 만세 (manse) — hurray
  • 청와대 (cheongwadae) — Blue House
  • 1945년 8월 15일 (cheongubaeksasibonyeon parwol siboil) — August 15, 1945

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Korean Liberation Day vocabulary list!

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We hope you enjoyed learning about Korea’s Liberation Day with us! Does your country have a special national holiday like this one? Let us know about it in the comments!

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Jeheonjeol: South Korean Constitution Day

Are you good at abiding by the law? Laws are rules that were made so that people can live together peacefully, right? In 1948, South Korea created the first constitution. And they made Constitution Day to celebrate its founding.

The creation of the South Korea constitution is one of the most significant events in the country’s history, and learning about it is a huge step forward in your Korean studies. At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative!

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1. What is South Korean Constitution Day?

On Constitution Day, South Korea remembers and celebrates the creation of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea. On this important holiday, many activities take place, most of which are directly related to the legal system and other government systems.

Did you know that since 2008, Constitution Day has been excluded from the list of public holidays after the implementation of the five-day work week? That’s why, even though it’s a national holiday, companies and schools are open as usual on this day.

Despite this inconvenience, on Constitution Day, Koreans wholeheartedly celebrate the forming of their constitution, as they should!

2. When is Constitution Day in South Korea?

July 17, 1948

Each year, Korea celebrates its Constitution Day on July 17, the date in 1948 that the Constitution of the Republic of Korea came into effect.

3. What Happens in South Korea on Constitution Day?

So, what kind of Constitution Day activities go on in South Korea?

The National Assembly Building, where Korean laws are passed, is located in Yeouido, Seoul. There is a Constitution Day celebration held in front of the National Assembly Building on the morning of Constitution Day. In this event, people selected as the National Representatives also participate. What should you do to become a National Representative? Just like everyone is equal under the law, anyone can apply online to become a National Representative without any special requirements.

There is also another special event held at the National Assembly Building, like the Constitution Day celebration. It’s the Korean College Student Debate. Students hold a heated debate on various topics such as the release of sex offenders’ private information and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

There are numerous events related to law-making held at elementary and middle schools. One of them is the mock legal court for children. Students become a judge or lawyer to learn how the law and daily life are related, in a court-like atmosphere. During this event, they address legal issues related to children, such as school violence.

4. South Korean National Assembly

Man Hoisting a Flag

Do you know how many congressmen and women—the people who make the laws—are in South Korea?

Currently, the South Korean National Assembly has 299 congressmen and women. They aren’t divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives, and they’re all elected every five years via an election.

5. Essential Vocabulary for South Korea’s Constitution Day

National Assembly Membership

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Korea’s Constitution Day!

  • 제헌절 (Jeheonjeol) — “Constitution Day”
  • 대한민국 (daehanminguk) — “The Republic of Korea”
  • 준법정신 (junbeopjeongsin) — “the law-abiding spirit”
  • 공포 (gongpo) — “promulgation”
  • 태극기 게양 (tageukgi gyeyang) — “National flag hoisting”
  • 국회의사당 (gukhoeuisadang) — “national assembly building”
  • 1948년 7월 17일 (cheongubaeksasippallyeon chirwol sipchiril) — “July 17, 1948″
  • 헌법 제정 (heonbeop jejeong) — “enactment of constitution”
  • 헌법 (heonbeop) — “constitution”
  • 국회의원 (gukhoeuiwon) — “a member of the national assembly”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean Constitution Day vocabulary list! Here, you’ll find each vocabulary word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation, as well as images to help you better understand each concept.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about South Korea’s Constitution Day with us! Did you learn anything new today? What does your country’s Constitution Day look like? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you, as always. :)

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Hyeon Chung Il: Memorial Day in Korea

Each year, Koreans observe their Memorial Day in commemoration of all their fallen soldiers. Memorial Day in Korea is similar to the U.S. Memorial Day, though of course with its own cultural nuances (such as the South Korean Flag meaning in ceremonies).

At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make learning about Korean culture and holidays both fun and informative, because this may be the most vital step in being able to master the language. That in mind, keep reading for more information on Memorial Day (South Korea).

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1. What is Memorial Day to Koreans?

Have you ever heard of Memorial Day in the United States of America? It’s a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

In Korea, there is also a day like U.S. Memorial Day, known as Korean Memorial Day (Hyeon Chung Il). In Korea, in order to honor those who lost their lives for the country, the month of June has been known as the Month of Defense of Korea and Patriots and Veterans every year since 1954.

2. When is Memorial Day in Korea?

Memorial Day on June 6

For this holiday in Korean, June 6 is when South Korea celebrates its Memorial Day.

3. Reading Practice: How is Korean Memorial Day Celebrated?

How do Koreans commemorate this June 6 holiday in Korea? Read the Korean text below to learn about the traditions that accompany Korean Memorial Day, and find the English translation directly below it.

이 때가 되면 많은 사람들이 서울에 있는 현충원을 방문합니다. 국립 서울 현충원은 나라를 위해서 목숨을 잃은 분들이 묻힌 곳인데요. 6월 6일이 되면 이곳 현충원에 독립유공자와 국군 유가족, 대통령 그리고 국가 주요 인사들이 모여서 현충일 추념식을 갖습니다.

특히 현충일 추념식 중간에 순국선열을 위해서 묵념을 하는 시간이 있는데요. 이 때에는 현충원 뿐만 아니라 전국 여기저기에서 사이렌이 울리고, 전국에 있는 모든 사람들이 함께 묵념을 합니다. 사람들은 1분간 묵념을 하면서 고인의 명복을 빌게 됩니다. 또한, 서울 광화문로와 같은 전국의 주요도로에 다니는 모든 차량도 이 1분간은 잠깐 정지하게 됩니다.

현충일이 되면 초등학교나 중학교에서도 현충일과 관련된 다양한 행사가 열립니다. 특히 현충일 글짓기 행사와 포스터 그리기 행사가 대표적인데요. 이 행사에 참가한 학생들은 한국전쟁 때 나라를 위해서 싸웠던 국군 장병의 모습을 그리고, 지금도 휴전선 근처에서 나라를 지키고 있는 군인들에게 감사의 마음을 담은 글을 적습니다.

여러분 그거 아세요? 지금도 한국은 휴전 중이기 때문에, 아직도 휴전선 근처에서는 크고 작은 전투들이 종종 일어나고 있습니다. 그래서 최근까지도 적지 않은 국군장병들이 나라를 위해서 싸우다 목숨을 잃는 경우가 종종 생기는데요. 이렇게 목숨을 잃거나 다친 사람들을 한국 사람들은 “국가유공자”라고 부릅니다.

On this day, a lot of people visit Seoul National Memorial Cemetery in Seoul. Seoul National Memorial Cemetery is the burial site of those who lost their lives for their country. On June 6th, a ceremony that honors the veterans of Korean Memorial Day is held with the bereaved families of the dead soldiers, the contributors to independence, the President, and the National Key Personnel.

In particular, there is a moment of silence in the middle of the ceremony on Korean Memorial Day, to honor the Patriotic Martyr. During the moment of silence, a siren sounds across the country as well as in the Cemetery, and everyone in the country observes a moment of silence. For one minute of silence, people pray for the repose of the deceased. Also, all vehicles on the main roads of the country, such as Gwanghwamun ro, stop for one minute for the moment of silence.

When Memorial Day is drawing near, a variety of associated events take place in elementary and junior high schools. In particular, there are representative events such as creative writing and poster drawing on Korean Memorial Day. Students who participate in these events draw the soldiers who fought for the country during the Korean War, or write to the soldiers who still defend the country near the Military Demarcation Line, to express their gratitude to them.

Did you know that large and small battles are still often happening around the Military Demarcation Line despite Korea being under a flag of truce? So, until recently, a considerable number of soldiers have lost their lives during the fight for their country. Korean people call those who lose their lives or were injured “men of National Merit” (gukgayugongja).

4. Why June 6th?

Silent Tribute by Candlelight

Do you know why Memorial Day (Korea) is on June 6th?

In Korea, a year is divided into twenty-four. In those twenty-four divisions, June 6th is the first day of the ninth period. And since old times, various sacrifices have been made on this day. That’s why the South Korean government set June 6th as Korean Memorial Day (Hyun Choong Il) when the government decided the Memorial Day in 1954.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Korean Memorial Day

South Korean Flag

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Memorial Day in South Korea!

  • 현충일 (hyeonchungil) — “Memorial Day”
  • 태극기 (taegukgi) — “Flag of South Korea”
  • 묵념 (mungnyeom) — “silent tribute”
  • 애국 (aeguk) — “patriotism”
  • 국군 (gukgun) — “national army”
  • 애국가 (aegukga) — “national anthem”
  • 순국 선열 (sunguk seonyeol) — “martyr”
  • 목숨 (moksum) — “life”
  • 6월 6일 (yuwol yugil) — “June 6th”
  • 영웅 (yeongung) — “hero”
  • 명복 (myeongbok) — “happiness in the next world”
  • 호국 (hoguk) — “defense of one’s country”
  • 국립 서울 현충원 (gungnip seoul hyeonchungwon) — “Seoul National Cemetery”
  • 조의 (joui) — “mark of respect to the dead”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean Memorial Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think about Memorial Day in Korea? Does your country observe a Memorial Day? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture of Korea, its history, and of course the Korean language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com! We believe that language-learning should be both fun and informative, something to look forward to and a steady path toward your goals. There’s something here for every learner, from free Korean vocabulary lists, insightful blog posts like this one, and an online community forum to discuss lessons with fellow students. You can also begin using our MyTeacher program by upgrading to Premium Plus!

We hope that you took away something valuable from this article, and that you’ll continue to immerse yourself in everything Korean with us. Your hard work will pay off, and we’ll be here for every step of your Korean-learning journey!

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어버이 날: How to Celebrate Parents’ Day in South Korea

How much do you express gratitude to your parents? Usually, people seldom express how thankful they are to their parents. That’s why there’s a day in South Korea for exactly this. It’s Parents’ Day, or 어버이 날 (Eobeoi Nal). Eobeoi means “parents,” both mother and father.

Parents’ Day largely reflects South Korea’s culture, particularly the concept of filial piety so prevalent here (though it is weakening). Thus, taking the time to learn about it will greatly increase your working knowledge of Korean culture. This, in turn, will improve your language skills and give you a greater respect for the country of your target language.

At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make your learning experience both fun and insightful as you discover all about Korean Parents’ Day!

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1. What is National Parents’ Day in Korea?

At its core, National Parents’ Day is meant to a time to both celebrate and show respect for one’s parents. It’s also a day of gratitude of thanksgiving for all that one’s parents have done for them—parents do make a lot of sacrifices that we sometimes take for granted, don’t they?

Do you remember which national holiday is held on May 5th? It’s Children’s Day, right? Children’s Day and Parents’ Day both take place in May, so this month is called “the Month of Family.”

2. When is it?

Parents' Day is on May 8

In Korea, Parents’ Day is celebrated each year on May 8.

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Children Showing Affection to Mother

On Parents Day, Koreans seek to honor their parents. So how do they do this? How is Parents’ Day celebrated in South Korea? Read the Korean text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

어버이날 하면 한국에서는 ‘카네이션’을 가장 먼저 떠올립니다.

한국에서는 5월 8일이 다가오면 학생들이 미술 시간에 색종이로 빨간 카네이션을 만드는데요. 아이들은 어버이날이 되기 전 직접 만든 카네이션 모형을 감사편지와 함께 준비합니다.

그리고 어버이날이 되면 이 카네이션을 부모님 가슴에 달아드리고 감사편지를 전달해드린다고 하네요.

어른이 되면 어렸을 때보다 부모님과 함께하는 시간이 적어지기 마련입니다. 그래서 어버이날이 되면 부모님을 찾아뵙고 함께 식사를 하는데요. 오랜만에 부모님과 식사를 하고 평소 부모님께서 갖고 싶었던 선물이나 상품권을 드리며 감사의 마음을 전하곤 합니다.

한국에서는 어버이날을 위한 특별한 노래가 있습니다. 초중고등학교에서는 어버이날이 되면 어머니와 아버지를 초청해서 어버이날 기념식을 여는데요. 이때에는 학생들이 다 함께 모여서 부모님께 ‘어버이날 노래’를 불러드립니다. 어버이날 노래 가사 중에는 ‘하늘 아래 그 무엇이 넓다 하리오. 어머님의 희생은 가이없어라’라는 내용이 있는데요. 하늘만큼 넓은 것이 바로 부모님의 사랑이라는 의미입니다.

In South Korea, usually the first thing that comes to mind about Parents’ Day is carnation flowers.

As May 8th approaches in South Korea, students make red carnations in art class. Before Parents’ Day, kids usually write a letter of thanks to go with the carnations they made.

And, on the day, they put the carnations on their parents’ chests and give them a letter of gratitude.

It’s natural to spend less time with your parents as you’re getting older. That’s why people visit their parents and have a meal with them on Parents’ Day. Usually, they have dinner with their parents, who they haven’t had a meal with for a long time, give them a gift or the gift certificates they wanted, and express their thanks.

There’s a special song for Parents’ Day in South Korea. In elementary, middle, and high schools, they invite their parents and hold a Parents’ Day Ceremony. During this event, the students gather together and sing the Parents’ Day song to their parents. One of the lyrics is “What else can be called as big under the sky. Mother’s sacrifices are endless.” It means that parents’ love is as big as the sky.

4. Additional Information: Origins

Do you know what country first started Parents’ Day?

The Korean Parents’ Day has roots in Mothers’ Day from the United States. In the U.S, it started out as a lady giving white carnations to people in remembrance of her mother. Later, when it came to South Korea, it changed to the day when people give red carnations to both parents as a Parents’ Day gift and show their gratitude to both mother and father.

5. Must-know Vocab

Reading a letter

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Parents’ Day in Korea!

  • 편지 (pyeonji) — “letter”
  • 가족 (gajok) — “family”
  • 어버이 날 (Eobeoi nal) — “Parents’ Day”
  • 아이 (ai) — “child”
  • 카네이션 (kaneisyeon) — “carnation”
  • 효도여행 (hyodoyeohaeng) — “tour for parents”
  • 공경 (gonggyeong) — “respect”
  • 어버이날 선물 (eobeoinal seonmul) — “Parents’ Day gift”
  • 부모님 (bumonim) — “parent”
  • 5월 8일 (owol paril) — “May 8th”
  • 호의 (houi) — “favor”
  • 어르신 (eoreusin) — “elderly”
  • 효자 (hyoja) — “devoted son”
  • 효녀 (hyonyeo) — “devoted daughter”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Korean Parents’ Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Korea’s celebration of Parents’ Day? Does your country have a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Korean culture and the language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. Here, you’ll find all the study tools you need to master Korean, from free vocabulary lists to insightful blog posts on an array of topics. You can also use our online forum to discuss lessons with fellow students, or even upgrade to a Premium Plus account and take advantage of our MyTeacher program to learn Korean one-on-one with your own personal teacher!

You’ve put a lot of effort into learning Korean, and you’ll be so glad you did once you begin the reaping the seeds you sowed! You’ll be speaking Korean like a native before you know it, and KoreanClass101.com will be here with you for every step of your journey there.

Be sure to wish your parents a Happy Parents’ Day in Korean and start brainstorming Parents’ Day gift ideas! Best wishes.

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April 19 Revolution in Korea: Student Protest Movement 1960

Do you know what political events happened in Korea after the Korean War ended? Although there was a lot of economic development, there was also a period of dictatorship. There were also various democratic groups that resisted the dictatorship.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about the civil Korea Revolution on April 19th that rose against the corrupt political power in the 1960s. As you’ll see, for Korea, 1960 was a year of great significance.

One of Korea’s most significant events, the Korean 1960 Revolution on April 19 is a vital piece of knowledge in your Korean learning journey. It will both open your eyes to Korea’s vast history and allow you to better understand its modern culture. So let’s get started!

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1. Reading Practice: What is April 19th Revolution Day in Korea?

So, what is April 19 Revolution Day in Korea? Read the Korean text below to find out (and you can find the English translation directly below it).

한국전쟁이 일어난 다음 한국에서는 이승만 대통령 정권이 시작됩니다. 하지만 한국전쟁 이후 이승만 대통령은 12년간 장기집권을 하게 되고, 독재 정권 아래서 여러가지 부정부패 문제가 일어나게 되었는데요. 결국 1960년 3월에 있었던 재선을 위한 선거과정에서 선거개표를 조작하였고, 이 사실이 세상에 알려지게 됩니다.

그 전부터 독재정치에 불만을 가졌던 사람들이 이 부정선거를 계기로 여기저기서 시위를 하기 시작합니다.

1960년 4월 초, 부정선거 사실이 알려진 뒤 가장 먼저 마산에서 시위가 일어났습니다. 하지만 당시 정부는 경찰과 폭력배를 시켜서 시위대를 무자비하게 진압하게 됩니다. 이러한 폭력적인 대처에 화가 난 시민들은 결국 전국 각지에서 시위를 하게 되는데요. 서울에서는 고려대학교 학생들을 중심으로 4천여명의 학생들이 모여서 국회의사당까지 걸어가며 시위를 하게 됩니다. 하지만 평화적으로 이루어졌던 시위를 끝내고 학교로 돌아던 학생들이 폭력배들에게 맞아서 큰 부상을 당하게 되면서 국민들의 불만은 최고조에 달합니다.

시민들과 학생들은 결국 ‘이승만 하야와 독재정권 타도’라는 구호를 외치며 더욱 큰 시위를 열게 됩니다. 이 시위를 진압하는 과정에서 또 다시 수많은 사람들이 다쳤음에도 시민들은 끝까지 자신들의 뜻을 굽히지 않았습니다. 그리고 4월 19일에 대규모 시위가 일어나게 됩니다.

이날 이후 결국 이승만대통령은 한국을 떠나 하와이로 망명을 가게 되었습니다. 시민들의 힘으로 독재정치를 내보낸 419 혁명은 한국 현대역사의 첫 민주주의 혁명으로 기록되고 있습니다.

After the Korean War broke out, Ri Seungman began his rule as president. After the war, he was in power for twelve years, and there was a lot of corruption under his dictatorship.

Finally, in the reelection of March 1960, the fact that the votes were being controlled became known to the world.

People who had complaints about the dictatorship prior to that started holding demonstrations here and there.

After the election fraud became known at the beginning of April 1960, the first demonstration occurred in Masan city. But the government ordered police and organized crime groups to mercilessly suppress the demonstrations. Citizens, angered by this rather violent way of handling the demonstrations, started demonstrating all over the country. In Seoul, a group of about 4,000 students, mostly from Korea University, began protesting in front of the National Assembly Building. The students finished the protest peacefully and returned to school, where they were beaten by organized crime groups. This was the peak of the citizens’ dissatisfaction. Students and citizens began protesting more while yelling, “Resign Ri Seungman and Overthrow the Dictatorship!” College professor groups and scholars alike gathered and demanded Ri Seungman’s resignation. Despite the method of suppressing the protests and how many people were injured, their will didn’t falter. And so, on April 19th, they had a large-scale protest.

After that day, Ri Seungman left Korea and was exiled to Hawaii. 419 Revolution Day, when the dictatorship was overthrown by the people’s power, was the first democratic revolution recorded in recent Korean history.

2. When is the April Revolution of Korea Celebrated?

Bastille Day

Each year, Koreans celebrate April 19th Revolution Day on—you guessed it—April 19 on the solar calendar, in commemoration of April 19, 1960.

3. How is the Korea 1960 Revolution Celebrated?

Performing a Demonstration

On April 19th, many people visit the 419 National Cemetery to honor the people who struggled for democracy.

There’s a 419 revolution memorial tower inside the cemetery. On 419 Revolution Day, people visit that tower and remember the people who were hurt and gave their lives for democracy leading up to the April 19, 1960 Korean Revolution.

4. Additional Information: More Special Days

419 Revolution Day is on April 19th of the solar calendar. In addition to 419 Revolution Day, there are a few other special days with their date in the name. Do you know which days those are?

Like 419 Revolution Day, there are a few other days with their date in the name. There’s the day marking the start of the Korean War on June 25th, which is called “625.” There’s also the pro-democratic resistance day on May 18th, called 518 Revolution Day.

5. Must-know Vocab

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for April 19th Revolution Day in Korea!

  • 학생 (haksaeng) — “student”
  • 교수 (gyosu) — “professor”
  • 피해자 (pihaeja) — “victim”
  • 민주주의 (minjujuui) — “democracy”
  • 시위 (siwi) — “demonstration”
  • 시민 (simin) — “citizen”
  • 분노 (bunno) — “anger”
  • 이승만 정권 (iseungman jeonggwon) — “Syngman Rhee government”
  • 혁명 (hyeongmyeong) — “revolution”
  • 하야 (haya) — “resignation”
  • 대통령 (daetongnyeong) — “president”
  • 국가 유공자 (gukga yugongja) — “men of national merit”
  • 독재정권 (dokjaejeonggwon) — “dictatorial government
  • 4.19 혁명 (sailgu hyeongmyeong) — “19th April of Bastille Day”
  • 불법 (bulbeop) — “illegality”

To hear each of these words pronounced, visit our 419 Revolution vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

As you can see, April 19 Revolution Day in Korea is a significant holiday that commemorates a pivotal time frame in Korea’s history. We hope you enjoyed learning about the 1960 Korean student revolution and its commemoration with us!

Is there a Revolution Day in your own country? How is it celebrated? Let us know in the comments!

For even more information on Korean culture and the Korean language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com and set up your account today! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Korean learners. With a Premium Plus account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Korean one-on-one with your own personal Korean teacher.

Learning a new language can be a staggering task, but it’s completely worthwhile. Know that your hard work and determination will pay off, and one day you’ll speaking, reading, and writing Korean like a native! We wish you the best in your language-learning journey!

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What is White Day in Korea? Celebrate Korean White Day!

White Day in Korea

White Day—the day women in Korea get to receive all sorts of gifts and delicacies from the men in their lives! Essentially, White Day in Korea serves as a day for men to thank women for the gifts they received a month earlier on Valentine’s Day. White Day’s meaning in Korea has a lot to do with the concept that a gift received is a gift to be repaid.

Let KoreanClass101.com show you everything you need to know about White Day in Korea. In so doing, you’re allowing yourself to learn a great deal about Korean culture, thus providing context as you seek to master the language. We hope to make the process fun! Let’s get started.

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1. What is White Day in Korea?

White Day in Korea is a special holiday for Korean women—it’s the day they receive nice treats from the men in their lives whom they previously gifted on Valentine’s Day the month before. It’s an important notion in Korean culture to return gift favors, and in this day and age this concept has become quite commercialized. Continue reading below to learn more about White Day, including White Day in Korea’s date.

2. When is White Day?

March 14 is White Day

Each year on 3월 14일 (samwol sipsail) or “March 14th,” White Day is celebrated in Korea. Exactly one month after Valentine’s Day!

3. How is it Celebrated?

Man About to Give Flowers to Woman

In Korea, White Day is celebrated by a 남자친구 (namjachingu) or “boyfriend” giving his 여자친구 (yeojachingu) or “girlfriend” a White Day gift. While traditionally this was marshmallows (hence the name “White Day”), today it’s common for women to receive gifts of 사탕 (satang) or “candy” or even a 꽃다발 (kkotdabal) or “bouquet.” Sound familiar?

In Korea, Valentine’s Day is largely a day for men to receive gifts from women, and so on White Day this is switched around. It’s like a second Valentine’s Day, but just for the ladies this time.

White Day can also be a day to 사랑을 고백하다 (sarangeul gobaekada) or “confess one’s love.” Thus, men 선물을 주다 (seonmureul juda) or “give a gift” to women—the kind of gifts that say 사랑해요. (Saranghaeyo.) or “I love you.”

Keep in mind that while both Valentine’s Day and White Day are largely observed as romantic holidays, sometimes gifts are given on either of these days out of obligation rather than love or adoration. Many enjoy giving gifts (and receiving!), but regardless, it’s expected for men and women to exchange gifts on their respective days.

4. Additional Information

So how exactly did White Day come about?

First off, note that it’s common practice in Korea for receivers of gifts to return the favor. Thus, it makes sense that there’s a holiday dedicated to honoring this tradition and value. But what makes White Day special?

As you can probably guess, White Day started out as a commercial holiday developed by the National Confectionery Industry Association in 1978. A year before, a company called Ishimuramanseido, based in Fukuoka, actually began marketing its marshmallows as a fun and proper return gift for men to give women. They even called March 14 “Marshmallow Day!”

Eventually, other companies and markets caught on to this idea like wildfire. Today, the coming of White Day is a golden opportunity to market all kinds of white- or romance-related products—various shades of chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and even lingerie.

5. Must-know Vocab

Man and Woman Silhouetted Against Sunset

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Korean White Day!

  • 여자친구 (yeojachingu) — “girlfriend”
  • 남자친구 (namjachingu) — “boyfriend”
  • 사탕 (satang) — “candy”
  • 선물 (seonmul) — “present”
  • 사랑해요. (Saranghaeyo.) — “I love you.”
  • 데이트 (deiteu) — “date
  • 사랑을 고백하다 (sarangeul gobaekada) — “confess one’s love”
  • 사랑 (sarang) — “love”
  • 3월 14일 (samwol sipsail) — “March 14th”
  • 꽃다발 (kkotdabal) — “bouquet”
  • 선물을 주다 (seonmureul juda) — “give a gift”
  • 사랑하는 사람 (saranghaneun saram) — “loved one”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Korean White Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now you know more about White Day in Korea. What do you think about this holiday? Is there a similar holiday in your own country, where women receive gifts from men? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Korean culture and the language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Korean learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Korean teacher! There’s something for everyone, and for every kind of learner. Be sure to create your account today.

We hope you enjoyed learning about White Day with us, and that you took away something valuable from this article. Know that all of your studying and hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Korean like a native before you know it!

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Daeboreum: Celebrate the Day of the First Full Moon in Korea

For a long time, in Korea, China, and other East Asian countries, people believed that there was a relationship between the size of the moon and their grain harvest. They believed that the moon growing larger over time was very similar to the growth of their grain in the fields; as the moon became larger, their grains would grow fatter.

Thus, you can see how Jeongwol Daeboreum (also called Day of the First Full Moon by Koreans) is a significant reflection of Korean culture. We at KoreanClass101.com hope to inform you well on all things Korean, so we hope you’ll let us be your guide for the Day of the First Full Moon in Korea.

Let’s explore Jeongwol Daeboreum Festival traditions (and the Moon Festival meaning), the Full Moon wishes made in some provinces, and more information on how Koreans celebrate the Great Full Moon!

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1. What is Korean Day of the First Full Moon?

정월 (Cheongwol) means “the first month of the lunar year,” and 대보름 (Daeboreum) means “big full moon.” So, 정월대보름 (Jeongwol Daeboreum) means something like “the day the first big full moon rises.”

On the Day of the First Full Moon, the night sky is brighter because of the big moon. Many villagers gather and enjoy festivities underneath the bright moonlight, including the Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival.

Day of First Full Moon in Korea can also be considered a second New Year celebration.

2. When is it?

Full Moon In The Night Sky

As the name suggests, the Korean Day of the First Full Moon is celebrated when the first full moon of the year is in the sky (this is day fifteen of the first lunar year month). This holiday’s date varies year to year on the Gregorian calendar, but for your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: February 19
  • 2020: February 8
  • 2021: February 26
  • 2022: February 15
  • 2023: February 5
  • 2024: February 24
  • 2025: February 12
  • 2026: March 3
  • 2027: February 20
  • 2028: February 9

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

Child Making a Wish

How do Koreans celebrate Jeongwol Daeboreum, and what is the Full Moon Game? Read the Korean text below it to find out (and find the English translation directly below).
—–
첫번째 행사는 ‘달맞이’입니다. ‘맞이’는 ‘맞이하다’라는 뜻의 동사에서 나온 말인데요. ‘달맞이’를 하기 위해서 정월대보름날이 되면 달빛을 확인하기 위해 마을 사람들이 밖에 모두 모입니다. 그 달빛으로 앞으로의 1년 농사를 미리 점을 쳤다고 하는데요. 달빛이 붉으면 그 해에는 흉년이 오고, 달빛이 희면 그 해에는 장마가 있을 징조라고 생각했습니다.
이렇게 한 해의 농사가 어떻게 될지 점을 친 다음에는, ‘쥐불놀이’를 합니다.
‘쥐불놀이’는 말 그래도 불을 가지고 노는 놀이인데요. ‘쥐불놀이’를 할 때에는 사람들이 모여서 조그마한 깡통에 짚을 넣고 그 안에 불을 붙인 다음, 깡통을 빙빙 돌립니다. 이렇게 깡통을 돌린 다음에 잡초가 있는 논이나 밭에 이 깡통을 던지는 놀이가 바로 ‘쥐불놀이’입니다. 이렇게 하면 잡초들이 불에 타면서 거름이 되고 그 거름으로 봄에 농사를 잘 지을 수 있는 효과도 있다고 하네요.
—–
The first event is Dalmaji. Maji is a word from the verb Majihada meaning “to welcome.” For Dalmaji, all the villagers gather outside to see the moonlight on the Day. It’s said they could predict the year of farming ahead by the moonlight. They believed that if the light was bright the year would be plentiful, and if the light was dim then there would be a rainy season.

After predicting how the farming would be for the next year, they would play Jwibul-nori.

Jwibul-nori or “small fire play” (also called the Full Moon Game) is playing with fire, as it literally says. When playing Jwibul-nori, people put straw into cans and set fire to it, then they spin the can around and around. After spinning the cans, they throw them into fields with weeds. The weeds then catch fire and become fertilizer for the spring farming.

A very special food is eaten only on the Day of the First Full Moon. It’s called Ogokbap. Five kinds of ingredients or Ogok such as rice, beans, barley, sorghum, and millet are put together to make ogokbap and is eaten together with the family. Usually, people only eat three meals a day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—however, on the Day of the First Full Moon meals are split up nine times throughout the day. They also say that eating with at least three families brings more fortune than eating alone.

4. Additional Information

Do you know how people in the city celebrate the Day of the First Full Moon? It depends, actually, on where you are or who you happen to be with. For example, in the Gyeonggi province or 경기도 (Gyeonggi-do), people gather together, write their wishes on paper tied to a rope made of straw, and light the paper on fire.

5. Must-know Vocab

Jwibullori

To celebrate and understand the Korean Day of the First Full Moon to its fullest, there’s some basic vocabulary you should know.

  • 달 (dal) — “moon”
  • 전통 (jeontong) — “tradition”
  • 밤 (bam) — “chestnut”
  • 호두 (hodu) — “walnut”
  • 부럼을 깨다 (bureomeul kkaeda) — “crack nuts”
  • 잣 (jat) — “pine nut”
  • 오곡밥을 먹다 (ogokbabeul meokda) — “eat five-grain rice”
  • 쥐불놀이 (Jwibullori) — “Jwibullori” (this is when grass and weeds are burned)
  • 소원을 빌다 (sowoneul bilda) — “make a wish”
  • 대보름 (Daeboreum) — “Great Full Moon”
  • 귀밝이술을 마시다 (gwibalgisureul masida) — “drink ear-quickening wine”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our First Full Moon Festival vocabulary list page. Each word is accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation to help you better learn them.

Conclusion

After learning about the Korean First Full Moon Festival with us, tell us what you think! We hope you enjoyed delving into this interesting facet of the Korean culture, and that you’ll take this knowledge with you on your language-learning journey.

For more information about Korea and its language, visit us at KoreanClass101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community where you can chat with fellow Korean learners about lessons. If you want to enjoy a one-on-one learning experience, you can also download our MyTeacher app to gain your very own personal Korean teacher.

With enough practice and determination, you can become proficient in Korean and we’re here to help you through each step. We wish you all the best!

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Pepero Day: Fun Facts About Pepero Day in South Korea

Happy Pepero Day! By the way, what’s Pepero Day? For those who aren’t familiar with what Pepero Day is, it’s an unofficial day in South Korea that’s celebrated by exchanging boxes of Peperos.

Have you ever heard of Pepero? It’s a chocolate covered cookie stick that is long and slim. It looks similar to the letter “I” or the number 1. That’s why November 11th (11/11) is Pepero Day in South Korea. On this day, friends and couples give each other Pepero.

The Pepero is one of the most famous Korean snacks that you can buy at any supermarket or even online in South Korea. The price for one Pepero box ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 KRW. But be aware that this is a habit you can really get hooked on, as they release Pepero special editions from time to time, meaning you can’t miss out on new Peperos!

1. Origins: What is Pepero Day?

빼빼로데이 (ppaeppaerodei): Pepero Day

빼빼로 데이 (ppaeppaero dei) or “Pepero Day” originated back in the 1980s among school girls in Busan. The company that sells Pepero in South Korea—Lotte Confectionery—noticed that their sales increased significantly every November 11 in this area. Therefore, the company started investigating, and they learned that students from this region exchanged a box of Peperos as a wish to stay thin while teasing each other to 살 좀 빼자 (sal jom ppaeja), meaning, “Let’s lose some weight” in English.

The marketing team took this idea and started promoting Pepero day, and it became extremely well-known after 1996. However, no one really knows whether this is a true story or not, as there are many stories about the origin of Pepero Day.

Nevertheless, Pepero Day has become one of the most important days in South Korea, and it’s celebrated on November 11 every year. This is probably because Pepero is such a well-loved Korean snack (how could it not be?).

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

11월 11일은 ‘빼빼로데이입니다.
(sibirwolwol sibirileun ‘ppyaeppaerodei’ imnida.)
“11th of November is ‘Pepero Day’.”

이 날은 사람들이 빼빼로삽니다.
(i nareun saramdeuri ppaeppaeroreul saseo.)
“People buy Pepero on this day.”

빼빼로데이는 감사를 전하고 싶은 사람들에게 나눠주는 날입니다.
(gamsareul jeonhago sipeun saramdeurege nanwojuneun narimnida.)
Pepero day is a day to show your appreciation to the people.”

빼빼로 데이에 사람들은 빼빼로를 선물로 줍니다.
(ppaeppaero deie saramdeureun ppaeppaeroreul seonmullo jumnida.)
“On Pepero Day, people give Pepero as a present to the other people and eat it.”

빼빼로 데이에는 상점 밖에서 빼빼로를 파는 곳이 많이 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun sangjeom bakkeseo ppaeppaeroreul paneun gosi mani itsseumnida.)
“There are lot of places selling Pepero outside the shop on Pepero Day.”

2. Modern Pepero Day: What to do on Pepero Day

Pepero Day is supposed to be fun and is a great opportunity to show your appreciation to people you care about. It can be your friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse, or even your colleagues and your boss. It’s literally just a day to share your appreciation with those around you, while having a good time in sharing a box of Pepero with those around you.

Pepero Day is practiced a few different ways, depending on age groups.

Children (elementary school) give and receive Pepero to their friends, teachers, and family members. Just as children do on Valentines Day, children give and receive Pepero just for the sake of exchanging sweets.

However, for those a little older (and for those with a bit more courage), Pepero Day is a day in which Pepero is given to girlfriends and boyfriends. It is also a day in which many people (typically teenagers) tend to confess their love to someone. The similarities between Pepero Day and Valentine’s Day are quite numerous. But the difference between the two is that instead of exchanging chocolates, people exchange Pepero. Also, Valentine’s Day is observed by people of all ages, whereas Pepero Day is mostly observed by younger people.

Because this is a highly commercialized day in Korea, many stores sell Pepero and other cheaper brands of the same type of cookie in bulk. There are large displays of Pepero and similar snacks at supermarkets on the days leading up to Pepero Day. Other venues try to cash in on this day as well. As an example: bakeries will sell long loaves of bread covered in chocolate (something that resembles a stick of Pepero). Other places will make elaborate packages filled with various types of Pepero, which can get quite expensive.

All you need to do is go to a supermarket in your area and buy boxes of Peperos. Then you can simply give it to a friend or write a short message to show your appreciation. Don’t have paper you can use? Don’t worry; there’s a small space (normally an image of a letter is printed on top of the box) for you to write a short message in.

Also, on this special day, you can’t miss out on Lotte’s special promotion. There will be a variety of Pepero flavors and packaging, which will be discussed in detail in the “Trend: Variety of Pepero Flavors in South Korea” section below. On this special day, don’t miss out on getting a variety of Pepero. It’s the only day that you’ll get to see so many different kinds of Pepero.

Keep in mind that you can purchase Pepero in-store from several supermarkets, or even buy Pepero online!

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로는 친구, 가족, 남자친구 아니면 여자친구, 부부, 그리고 직장동료매니저에게도 줄 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaeroneun chingu, gajok, namjachingu animyeon yeojachingu, bubu, geurigo jikjangdongnyowa maenijeoegedo jul su itseumnida.)
“You can give a Pepero to your friends, family, boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse, and even to your colleagues and your boss.”

빼빼로 상자 감사편지쓸 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero sangja wie gamsaui pyeonjireul sseul su itseumnida.)
“You can write a ‘Thank you’ letter on top of a Pepero box.”

사랑을 고백하고 싶으면 빼빼로를 주세요.
(sarangeul gobaekago sipeumyeon ppaeppaeroreul juseyo.)
“If you want to confess your love, give Pepero.”

빼빼로 데이에는 많은 사람들이 빼빼로를 주고 받습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun maneun saramdeuri ppaeppaeroreul jugo batsseumnida.)
“A lot of people exchange Pepero on Pepero Day.”

3. Trend: Different Flavors of Pepero in South Korea

Now, let’s have a look at different Peperos flavors—you’ll be amazed how many different kinds of Pepero flavors are available in South Korea. They usually come in two sizes: thin Pepero or big Pepero. If you’re not familiar with any of these Pepero flavors, click on the link to check out pictures of that Pepero.

Chocolate Pepero

1 - 초코 빼빼로 (choko ppaeppaero) — Original Chocolate Pepero

This is the classic Pepero which was introduced in the April of 1983 and this is the symbol of Pepero as we know it today.

2 - 아몬드 빼빼로 (amondeu ppaeppaero) — Almond Pepero

This was released on of March 26, 1984. People who love almond buy this. However, one downside about this Pepero is that there are only nine sticks inside the package (talk about a bummer!). Nevertheless, this Almond Pepero is loved by many almond and chocolate lovers.

3 - 코코넛 빼빼로 (kokoneot ppaeppaero) — Chocolate Coconut Pepero

Similar to the Almond Pepero, this Pepero is covered in coconut chips. It’s loved by many coconut lovers in South Korea.

4 - 땅콩 빼빼로 (ttangkong ppaeppaero) — Peanut Pepero

This is the Pepero that’s known for, of course, being covered in peanuts. Although this was released in 1996, Lotte does not produce Peanut Pepero anymore.

5 - 누드 빼빼로 (nudeu ppaeppaero) — Nude Pepero

The classical Pepero is a cookie stick dipped in chocolate—the Nude Pepero is the reverse version, where the chocolate is inside and the cookie outside.

6 - 더블딥 초코 화이트 빼빼로 (deobeuldip choko hwaiteu ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Choco White Pepero

This one’s a Pepero that’s dipped in a mix of Kakao cream and whipped cream; it was introduced in 2000. Fun fact: Unlike other rectangular Pepero boxes, this Pepero is in a square box.

7 - 다크 빼빼로 (dakeu ppaeppaero) — Dark Pepero

For dark chocolate lovers. The cookie stick on this Pepero flavor is even darker than it is on others.

8 - 바닐라 블랙 쿠키 빼빼로 (banilla beullaek kuki ppaeppaero) — Vanilla Black Cookie Pepero

This flavor is composed of Pepero sticks dipped in white chocolate and covered with cookie pieces.

9 - 스키니 빼빼로 (seukini ppaeppaero) — Skinny Pepero

This is a “skinny” version of the classic chocolate Pepero. This was introduced in 2013.

10 - 더블딥 딸기 빼빼로 (deobeuldip ttalgi ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Strawberry Pepero

The length of this Pepero is shorter and wider than the original Pepero, and it’s dipped in strawberry-flavored cream.

11 - 초코쿠키 빼빼로 (chokokuki ppaeppaero) — Choco Cookie Pepero

This was introduced in 2015. The Pepero stick is covered with cookie.

12 - 블루베리 요거트 빼빼로 (beulluberi yogeoteu ppaeppaero) — Blueberry Yogurt Pepero

This was introduced in 2015 as well. Unfortunately, beginning in 2017, Lotte doesn’t produce this flavor anymore.

13 - 누드 녹차 빼빼로 (nudeu nokcha ppaeppaero) — Nude Green Tea Pepero

Favored by women in general, this Nude Green Tea Pepero was introduced to the market in 2016.

14 - 더블딥 카페라떼 빼빼로 (deobeuldip kaperatte ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Cafe Latte Pepero

The length is shorter and wider than the original Pepero. It goes well with a cup of coffee.

15 - 더블딥 요거트 빼빼로 (deobeuldip yogeoteu ppaeppaero) — Double Dip Yogurt Pepero

The length is shorter and wider than the original Pepero. It tastes like you’re eating some sweet white yogurt with cookies.

16 - 스키니 카카오 빼빼로 (seukini kakao ppaeppaero) — Skinny Cacao Pepero

This is a “skinny” Pepero version of Skinny Cacao Pepero mentioned above.

17 - 누드 치즈 빼빼로 (nudeu chijeu ppaeppaero) — Nude Cheese Pepero

18 - 카카오닙스 빼빼로 (kakaonipseu ppaeppaero) — Cacao Nibs Pepero

Strawberry Pepero

19 - 딸기 빼빼로 (ttalgi ppaeppaero) — Strawberry Pepero

20 - 불고기 빼빼로 (bulgogi ppaeppaero) — Bulgogi Pepero

We’re sure you want to buy this one out of curiosity, but unfortunately South Korea stopped selling this flavor in 1997.

21 - 티라미스 치즈 빼빼로 (tiramiseu chijeu ppaeppaero) — Tiramisu Cheese Pepero

22 - 화이트 쿠키 빼빼로 (hwaiteu kuki ppaeppaero) — Pepero White Cookie

This flavor is basically a mixture of cookies and cream.

And the list goes on… It seems that Lotte introduces new Peperos flavors every year, so keep an eye out for them on November 11! But what’s the best Pepero flavor? Well, that’s for you to decide, so try as many as you’d like.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로데이에는 여러 종류빼빼로맛 볼 수 있습니다.
(ppaeppaero deieneun yeoreo jongnyuui ppaeppaeroreul mat bol su itseumnida.)
“You can taste different kinds of Peperos on Pepero day.”

상대좋아하는 빼빼로사서 선물해 보세요.
(sangdaega joahaneun ppaeppaeroreul saseo seonmulhaeboseyo.)
“Try to buy Pepero flavor that your partner likes and give it to him/her.”

빼빼로 데이에 가장 인기있는 빼빼로는 초콜릿 맛 빼빼로입니다.
(ppaeppaero deie gajang ingiinneun ppaeppaeroneun chokollit mat ppaeppaeroimnida.)
“The most popular Pepero on Pepero Day is the chocolate flavored Pepero.”

4. Pepero Day Ideas: Different Ways to Celebrate the Day

On Pepero Day, you don’t have to buy Pepero; you can create your own tradition or even make your own Pepero for the special people in your life. Let’s have a look at a few different ways that Koreans celebrate Pepero Day.

1- Are You in a Relationship? Make DIY Pepero

DIY (Do It Yourself) Pepero is very popular among women, especially those who are in a relationship. If you’re not much of a cook, it may seem time-consuming and challenging. But fortunately, you can easily purchase DIY Pepero kits online and get them delivered to your house; there are also many shops where you can purchase the tools and Pepero ingredients you need to make Pepero.

Be creative and make your own Pepero to impress your boyfriend and your father while showing them your appreciation. Here’s an article to give you an idea of how Koreans make Peperos. It even comes with a Pepero recipe inside.

If you’re not a fan of cooking on a special day, there are many gift packages that you can choose from as well, such as the Pepero big box (Peperos packed in an over-sized Pepero box).

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about DIY Pepero:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

많은 여성 들이 빼빼로직접 만들어 선물합니다.
(maneun yeoseong bundeuri ppaeppaeroreul jikjeop mandeureo seonmulhamnida.)
“Many women make their own Pepero and give it out as gifts.”

빼빼로데이사랑을 고백하는 입니다.
(ppaeppaero deineun sarangeul gobaekaneun narimnida.)
“Pepero Day is the day that you confess your love.”

2- Not a Fan of Pepero? Pepero with Rolled Up Cash

Korean Money Pepero

Not everyone is a fan of Pepero. For example, if you know someone who’s very health-conscious, then it could be a challenge for you determining what to give as a gift to them on Pepero Day.

Recently, a new Pepero Day gift idea developed a few years ago, and has become extremely popular. Instead of Pepero, you roll up cash to resemble a stick, and put these rolls in a rectangular box. It’s called 돈 빼빼로 (donppaeppaero), literal translation being “Money Pepero.”

This may be an expensive gift, but the person who receives it will absolutely love it (we promise!). Popular cash Pepero receivers are parents or other family members. Do you want to know how to make it? Click here for a DIY blog post.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about paper with rolled up cash:
※ Click on a word to practice your pronunciation.

빼빼로 대신 주는 사람있습니다.
(ppaeppaero daesin doneul juneun saramdo itseumnida.)
“There are people who give money instead of Pepero.”

부모님좋아할 선물일 수도 있겠습니다.
(bumonimi joahal seonmuril sudo itgetseumnida.)
“It may be a great gift for the parents.”

3- Appreciate the Tradition? Let’s Celebrate “Garaetteok Day”

On November 11, we celebrate 가래떡 데이 (garaetteok dei), literal translation being “Korean Rice Cake Day.” Instead of Pepero, you pass out long cylindrical rice cakes to people. 가래떡 데이 (garaetteok dei) is 농업인의 날 (nongeobinui nal), literal translation being “Farmer’s Day” in South Korea. 가래떡 is made of steamed rice flour and it’s seen in many dishes, such as 떡꼬치 (Tteokkkochi) or “Spicy Fried Korean Rice Cake Sticks,” 떡국 (tteokguk) or “sliced rice cake soup,” 떡볶이 (Tteok-bokki) or “stir-fried rice cakes,” and so on. It’s a great way to appreciate the tradition and celebrate Farmer’s Day on November 11.

▶ Let’s Practice Korean about Garaetteok Day:

11월 11일은 농업인의 날입니다.
(sibirwolwol sibirileun nongeobinui narimnida.)
“It is ‘Farmer’s Day’ on November 11.”

이날은 가래떡을 사람들에게 나눠주는 날입니다.
(inareun garaetteogeul saramdeurege nanwojuneun narimnida.)
“On this day, people give out Korean rice cakes.”

4- Love Playing Games? Try Pepero Games

You can play a Pepero game with Pepero sticks in South Korea. Do you want to know how to play this? It’s very simple.

Think of the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp. The Pepero game is very similar to this. It’s called the “Pepero kiss game” where two people need to eat a Pepero together to make the shortest possible leftover in the middle. To win, you need to make sure to have the shortest Pepero stick possible, compare to other groups. Still not sure how to play this game? Watch this EXO Pepero kiss game.

Speaking of EXO, there used to be Pepero EXO Limited Edition in South Korea, and fans could collect the EXO Pepero box set along with a photocard of each member.

5. How to Say “Happy Pepero Day” in Korean

Here are a number of Pepero Day quotes in Korean. You can write these messages and give a box of Pepero to your acquaintances.

빼빼로데이 축하해요!
(ppaeppaerodei chukahaeyo!)
“Happy Pepero Day!”

맛있는 빼빼로 먹고 행복 가득한 하루보내세요.
(masinneun ppaeppaero meokgo haengbok gadeukan harubonaeseyo.)
“Please eat these delicious Pepero and have a day full of happiness.”

빼빼로 처럼 길~게 사랑하자!
(ppaeppaero cheoreom gil~ge saranghaja!)
“Let’s be together for a long time like these Pepero sticks.”

6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

Pepero Day is one of the most popular days in South Korea, so we’re glad to introduce Pepero Day in detail in this blog post. We hope you found this article interesting, and if you want to learn essential vocabulary about Pepero, KoreanClass101 has the “Korean Vocabulary List - Pepero Day” available for free. We also have a number of Korean lessons based on Pepero Day, so feel free to check them out on our website as well.

Lastly, what’s your favorite Pepero flavor? Leave a comment below!

How to Say Happy New Year in Korean & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Korean New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join KoreanClass101 for a special Korean New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Korean

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Korean? Let a native teach you! At KoreanClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Korean New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Korea
  2. Must-Know Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Korean
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Learn Korean

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Korean New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Korea

Did you know every Korean get 1 year older on January 1st on New Year’s Day? Yes, that’s how Korean age works and how Koreans get older, and that’s why New Year’s Day is more special in Korea.

There are two New Year’s Day in Korea; one is 구정 (gujeong) and 신정 (sinjeong.) 구정 (gujeong) is the New Year holiday based on the lunar calendar. It’s considered more traditional than the other one, 신정 (sinjeong), which is based on the solar calendar.

During the traditional new year holiday, family get-togethers take place. However, recently fewer and fewer people are visiting their hometown during 구정 (gujeong), because of the heavy traffic jams from Seoul to other cities. Instead, more and more people are visiting their family on 신정 (sinjeong), the New Year holiday on the solar calendar, or other weekends. Moreover, sometimes parents visit their sons’ or daughters’ houses instead. In Korean, this trend is called 역귀성 (yeok-gwiseong) which means “Reversed homecoming.” As it takes too much time to go from Seoul to other cities, the parents take a trip to Seoul instead.

Happy New Year!
새해 복 많이 받으세요!
Saehae bok mani badeuseyo.

2. Must-Know Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Korean Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year


nyeon

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Korea could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

자정
jajeong

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

새해 첫날
saehae cheonnal

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

4- Party

파티
pati

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing


chum

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

샴페인
syampein

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

불꽃놀이
bulkkotnori

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

카운트 다운
kaunteu daun

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

연말 연시
yeonmal yeonsi

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

색종이 조각
saekjjongi jogak

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

섣달 그믐
Seotdal Geumeum

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

건배
geonbae

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

새해소원
saehaesowon

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

퍼레이드
peoreideu

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At KoreanClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Korean New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

So, you learned the Korean word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at KoreanClass101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Korean friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

다독하기
dadokhagi

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Korean in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Korean language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

가족과 더욱 많은 시간 보내기
gajokgwa deouk maneun sigan bonaegi

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

체중감량하기
chejunggamnyanghagi

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

소비절약하기
sobijeoryakhagi

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to KoreanClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

금연하기
geumnyeonhagi

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

새로운 것 배우기 새로운 것 배우기
saeroun geot baeugi

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

절주하기
jeoljjuhagi

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

규칙적으로 운동하기
gyuchikjjeogeuro undonghagi

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

건강한 식습관 가지기
geonganghan siksseupkkwan gajigi

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Korean with KoreanClass101

KoreanClass101.com으로 한국어 공부하기
KoreanClass101.comeuro hangugeo gongbuhagi

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Korean, especially with us! Learning how to speak Korean can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. KoreanClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Korean new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Korean, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Korean incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with KoreanClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Korean could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Korean - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Korean - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with KoreanClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Korean! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that KoreanClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Korean at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Korean that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Korean with KoreanClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean

How to Say Merry Christmas in Korean

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean? KoreanClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Korean Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Korean speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, KoreanClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Korea
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Korea

Christmas Words in Korean

Do you know what day the 25th of December is? Many nations celebrate that day as Christmas. And Korea is no exception. In this blog, you’ll learn about how Koreans celebrate Christmas Day.

Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: when you think of Christmas, I bet you can’t help but think of Santa Claus, right? But in Korea, Santa Claus is usually called by another name. Do you know what that name is?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

In South Korea, you can’t take the “donation” out of Christmas, so around Christmas time, you’ll see many Salvation Army charity donation pots or 구세군 냄비(gusegun-naembi). You’ll run into these donation pots all over the city from the beginning of December. It’s the season of giving, and many people donate money to people who have to bear the harsh winter around this time of year. If you visit Korea during this season, you’ll see people putting 1,000 won and 10,000 won bills into the pot.

Also during the Christmas season, you can often hear Christmas carols. Every year in Korea, famous comedians release a carol. Using their own buzzwords to make lyrics and the music of a famous carol, they release their own special Christmas carols. You’ll almost certainly hear these carols in South Korea.

Since about thirty percent of Koreans are Christian, many people go to church on Christmas. After lunch time, they spend time with their families or partners. That’s why you can see many people gathering downtown or in shopping malls.

Additionally, there are people, sometimes called “One Thousand Four Angel Santas” or 1004(천사)명의 산타 (cheonsamyeong-ui santa) who spend Christmas giving gifts to orphans and bringing food to the elderly who live alone. Christmas is the day, regardless of religion, when people can show kindness to one another.

Here’s our fun fact for the day! Did you know that Christmas has another name in Korea? It’s 성탄절(Seongtan-jeol.) 성(Seong), is the Chinese character meaning “holy” and 탄(Tan) means “birth.” So together 성탄(seongtan) means “the day the holy person was born.” This can be used as another name for Christmas.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question: what is Santa Claus called in Korea? In Korea, Santa Claus goes by another name; he’s called “Grandfather Santa.” or 산타 할아버지 (santa-hallabeoji) When you call him grandfather, you feel much closer, right? These days, sometimes you can also see or hear about Grandmother Santa or 산타 할머니(santa halmeoni).

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

1- Merry Christmas!

메리 크리스마스!
Meri Keuriseumaseu!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

해피 콴자!
haepi kwanja!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

행복한 새해 되세요!
haengbokan saehae doeseyo!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

해피 하누카!
haepi hannukah!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

겨울 휴가 잘 보내세요!
gyeoul hyuga jal bonaeseyo!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

내년에 뵙겠습니다!
naenyeone boepkketsseumnida!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

행운을 빌며!
haenguneul bilmyeo!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Korean Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

행복한 휴일 보내세요!
haengbokan hyuil bonaeseyo!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Korean, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

휴일 잘 즐기세요!
hyuil jal jeulgiseyo!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

새해 복 많이 받으세요!
saehae bok mani badeuseyo!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Korean! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At KoreanClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

크리스마스
keuriseumaseu

This is the Korean word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Korean will include this word!

2- Snow


nun

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

눈송이
nunsongi

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

눈사람
nunsaram

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

칠면조
chilmyeonjo

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

화환
hwahwan

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

순록
sunnok

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

산타 클로스
santa keulloseu

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

꼬마 요정
kkoma yojeong

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

루돌프 사슴코
rudolpeu saseumko

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

북극
Bukgeuk

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

썰매
sseolmae

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

선물
seonmul

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

크리스마스 종
keuriseumaseu jong

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

굴뚝
gulttuk

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

벽난로
byeognanro

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

크리스마스
Keuriseumaseu

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

장식
jangsik

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

크리스마스 양말
keuriseumaseu yangmal

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

호랑 가시 나무
horang gasi namu

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

과자집
gwajajip

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

사탕 지팡이
satang jipangi

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

겨우살이
gyeousari

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Korean, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Korean! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

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So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in KoreanClass101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!