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Archive for the 'Korean Holiday' Category

Hangul Proclamation Day: Writing Korean Made Easy

The creation of the Hangul language in 1446 may be one of the most important and influential events in Korea’s history. This new way of writing down the Korean language greatly improved Koreans’ access to writing, as it was made to be much simpler and easier to learn.

In this article, you’ll learn all about Korean Hangul Proclamation Day (sometimes spelled Hangeul Proclamation Day), including traditions and what exactly makes the Hangul language so easy. This South Korean holiday is a clear reflection of language progress, and learning about it will give a deeper look into South Korea’s history and current culture.

Let’s get started and cover the basics of Hangeul Proclamation Day in South Korea.

At KoreanClass101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Hangul Proclamation Day?

Hangul are the Korean characters created and spread in 1446 by King Sejong of the Joseon dynasty. Even back then, Korean was spoken in Korea like it is today, but since Korean had no characters of its own, they wrote with Chinese characters.

However, there was a problem with this. Chinese characters took a long time to learn, meaning that farmers and people who had to work had trouble learning them. So King Sejong, in order to create a writing system that anyone could learn, founded a place called Jiphyeonjeon where Hangul was created in 1446.

Hangul Proclamation Day has been celebrated since 1926, but was called Gagya Day. Korean Hangul’s alphabet starts with the characters with Giyeok such as Ga, Gya, G
eo, Gyeo, Go, Gyo, Geu
and Gi. That was how it first got its name of Ga-gya Day, and perhaps why it’s sometimes still referred to as Korean Alphabet Day.

2. When is Hangul Proclamation Day?

Hangul Proclamation Day

Each year, Hangul Proclamation Day is celebrated on October 9.

3. Celebrations for the Hangul Language

To celebrate how great Hangul is, various events take place all over Korea on Hangul Proclamation Day. There are fashion shows with clothes designed and inspired by Hangul, and various pieces of art that use Hangul are also shown.

Also on Hangeul Day, many websites change their logo from English to Korean characters. Even the search site Google changes its logo to Hangul on Hangul Proclamation Day.

4. Why is Hangul so Easy?

Man Relaxing on Sofa

Why do you think Hangul is easy to learn? It’s because Hangul is a combination of consonant and vowel sounds, and its special characteristic is that almost every sound can be written, and the number of characters you need to memorize is low.

Also, many Hangul letters were made similar to the shape of your mouth or tongue when you pronounce the letter. If the pronunciation is similar, then the character shapes are most likely similar too, so anyone can easily memorize and learn it.

5. Essential Vocabulary for Hangul Proclamation Day

Do You Speak English?

Here’s the essential vocabulary you need to know for Hangul Proclamation Day in South Korea!

  • 언어 (eoneo) — “language”
  • 쓰다 (sseuda) — “write”
  • 읽다 (iktta) — “read”
  • 한글날 (Hangeullal) — “Hangul Proclamation Day”
  • 소리 (sori) — “sound”
  • 훈민정음 (hunminjeongeum) — “Hunminjeongeum
  • 주시경 (ju sigyeong) — “Ju Si-gyeong
  • 세종대왕 (sejong daewang) — “the Great Sejong”
  • 모음 (moeum) — “vowel”
  • 우수성 (ususeong) — “superiority”
  • 조선 시대 (joseon sidae) — “Joseon Dynasty
  • 창제 (changje) — “invention”
  • 한글 (hangeul) — “Hangul”
  • 반포 (banpo) — “distribution”
  • 자음 (jaeum) — “consonant”
  • 태극기 (taegukgi) — “Flag of South Korea”
  • 문자 (munja) — “letter”
  • 공휴일 (gonghyuil) — “legal holiday”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, alongside relevant images, check out our Hangul Proclamation Day vocabulary list!

How KoreanClass101 Can Make a Korean Language Master

Did you learn anything new about Hangul, or the Korean language in general? Does your country have any language-related holidays? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you!

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Chuseok: How to Celebrate Korean Thanksgiving Day

Chuseok

Today, we will discuss one of the most important Korean holidays in Korea–Chuseok, or the Korean version of Thanksgiving. We will be offering detailed information about what you are expected to do during the holidays, as well as the activities that take place during the holidays.

  1. Chuseok Holiday: What is Chuseok and When Is It?
  2. Korean Traditional Holiday: History of Chuseok
  3. Chuseok Activities: Are There Any Korean Traditional Games?
  4. Traditional Chuseok Foods: What do you eat on Chuseok?
  5. Chuseok Greetings: Phrases You Need to Know
  6. Activities for Foreigners During Chuseok
  7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

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1. Chuseok Holiday: What is Chuseok and When Is It?

1- What is Chuseok and What Do You Do on Chuseok?

추석 [Chuseok], also known as the Korean Thanksgiving holidays, is one of the most important cultural holidays in Korea, along with 설날 [Seollal; New Year’s Day], in South Korea. It is celebrated on the 15th day(full moon) of the 8th month in the lunar calendar.

Traditionally, Koreans used to wear traditional clothes called 한복 [Hanbok] when visiting their parents and extended family during the holidays. Women usually prepared the table filled with food for the family’s ancestors. It may sound fun since everyone visits their home to meet their family, but preparing the food is still not an easy task for Korean women as there are many different dishes to prepare, such as rice, soup, rice cakes, fruits, and various other dishes, traditional drinks, and desserts.

After the meal preparation and ancestral worship, the family will gather to have big meals together. Some Korean families will visit their ancestor’s graveyards located in the deep mountains, while others engage in family activities together. We’ll provide more details below.

2- So When is Chuseok?

Calendar

Chuseok fell on the 13th of September in 2019, but the holiday period actually lasts for three or more. The date of Chuseok is different every year as it is based on the lunar calendar, so it’s mandatory to check the exact date and plan the traveling in advance. This is because most Koreans will return to their hometowns, resulting in a lack of train and airplane tickets and major traffic jams.

Here are the dates of Chuseok for the next 10 years:

  • 2019: 9월 13일 [guwol sipsamil] - September 13, 2019
  • 2020: 10월 1일 [siwol iril] - October 1, 2020
  • 2021: 9월 21일 [guwol isibiril] - September 21, 2021
  • 2022: 9월 10일 [guwol sibil] - September 10, 2022
  • 2023: 9월 29일 [guwol isipguil] - September 29, 2023
  • 2024: 9월 17일 [guwol sipchiril] - September 17, 2024
  • 2025: 10월 6일 [siwol yugil] - October 6, 2025
  • 2026: 9월 25일 [guwol isiboil] - September 25, 2026
  • 2027: 9월 15일 [guwol iboil] - September 15, 2027
  • 2028: 10월 3일 [siwol samil] - October 3, 2028


2. Korean Traditional Holiday: History of Chuseok

The origin of the Chuseok holidays isn’t clear. From what little that we know, Chuseok originates back to nearly 2,000 years ago, when the third king of the Silla dynasty, King Yuri (24-57) supposedly started the chuseok holidays as a competitive festival. Legend states that the women in the kingdom were put into different groups for a certain amount of time. During this time, each team weaved as much cloth as they could, and the winning team was treated to a feast of food.


3. Chuseok Activities: Are There Any Korean Traditional Games?

There are many activities that you can enjoy during Chuseok.

1- 강강술래 [Ganggangsullae] - 5,000-year-old Korean Traditional Dance

강강술래 [Ganggangsullae] is a Korean traditional dance that is performed by women only at night.

The women stand in circle and hold each other’s hand as they move around in a clockwise direction. There is no music accompanying the dance; one woman sings, while the other women repeat 강강술래 [ganggangsullae] over and over. The songs performed during the dance tell stories about everyday life in Korea.

2- 윷놀이 [Yunnori] - Traditional Board Game Played in Korea

윷놀이 [Yunnori] is a traditional Korean board game. Usually, the game is played by two teams or more. It is similar to a board game where you throw one or two dices to move forward. Instead of a dice, there are 윷[yut] sticks, which are 4 sticks. Also, when you throw these Yut sticks, each combination has its name. For example:

  • 도 [do]: One stick over and three sticks up; take a step forward
  • 개 [gae]: Two sticks up and two sticks over; take two steps forward
  • 걸 [geol]: One stick up and three sticks over; take three steps forward
  • 윷 [yut]: All sticks over; take 4 steps forward
  • 모 [mo]: All sticks up; take 5 steps forward

If you are not sure how the combination works, check out this image.

Also, when sticks result in either 윷 [yut] or 모 [mo], the play gets another chance of throwing the sticks.

3- 씨름 [ssireum]- Traditional Korean Wrestling

Korea

씨름 [ssireum] also known as Korean wrestling is a traditional national sport of Korea since the fourth century. Ssireum was originated back in the Goguryeo period.

In the 20th century, 씨름[ssireum] gained popularity and quickly became a nationally televised sport in South Korea. People would gather around to watch the 씨름[ssireum] championships. However, in recent days, 씨름[ssireum] has lost its popularity and is rarely shown on TV.

4- 줄다리기 [juldarigi] - Korean Traditional Tug of War

줄다리기 [juldarigi] is the Korean version of tug of war.

The concept is similar to the Western version. Participants use a huge rice-straw rope which is pulled at by two teams. The number of rice-straw ropes and the rules may vary depending on the region.

5- 거북놀이 [geobungnori] - Turtle Play

거북놀이 [geobungnori], direct translation being ‘Turtle Play’, is a play which is performed to drive away negative spirits and ghosts, and wish for good health and long life.

It is usually performed in the 경기도 [Gyeonggi Province] and 충청도 [Chungcheong Province] regions during the Chuseok holidays.


4. Traditional Chuseok Foods: What do you eat on Chuseok?

1- Exchanging Gifts: Huge Variety of Chuseok Gifts

Gift-giving is a new tradition. Koreans show their appreciation for the people in their lives by giving others gifts for Chuseok–this can be to family, friends, coworkers, and bosses.

At a supermarket, you will be able to see a variety of Chuseok gift sets, such as Spam, high-quality cuts of beef, baskets of beautifully wrapped fresh fruits, and so on. Between business acquaintances, Koreans usually exchange sets of Korean traditional sweets or wines.

One thing to note is 김영란법 [Kim Young-ran Act; The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act], so there is a limit to how much money you can spend on gifts. This law does not apply to friends or family members but does for business acquaintances, so please watch out for it if you are planning to exchange Chuseok gifts.

2- List of Traditional Korean Chuseok Food that You Can Eat

On Chuseok, there is some food that you can only eat during the holidays–it is similar to Seollal, when Koreans eat 떡국 [tteokguk; rice cake soup] to celebrate the New Year. During Chuseok, Songpyeon, a type of sweet rice cake, is the signature food. It is relatively easy to make and delicious. Now let’s see a list of Chuseok foods:

1. 송편 [Songpyeon] - Korean Rice Cakes with Honey

송편 [songpyeon] is a signature Chuseok food which is made of glutinous rice. Songpyeon is half-moon shaped rice cakes that contain sweet ingredients such as honey, chestnut paste or red bean paste inside. Half-moon shaped Songpyeon is the original, but these days, there are various different shapes of Songpyeons available.

2. 전 [Jeon] - Traditional Korean-style Pancake

전 [jeon] is a traditional Korean-style pancake. You can eat it as a main dish, side dish, or even as an appetizer or snack. The ingredients you put inside is completely up to you. You can add scallions, kimchi or various vegetables and seafood.

3. 잡채 [Japchae] - Stir-fried glass noodles with various vegetables

잡채 [japchae] is savory stir-fried glass noodles with meat and various vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, and onions, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. Japchae is a traditional Korean food that is served on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and holidays.

4. 제사상 음식 [Jesasang eumsik] - Variety of Foods for Ancestral Rites Table

The main activity of Chuseok is 제사 [jesa], which is a ceremony practiced in South Korea. Women prepare meals for ancestors and you will be able to eat all the dishes after the worship. Variety of dishes are placed on a table. For example: fruits and vegetables such as [gam; persimmon], [bae; Asian pear], 사과 [sagwa; apple], 배추 [baechu; Napa cabbage], [bam; chestnut], 곶감 [gotgam; Dried Persimmon] and other dishes such as 생선 [saengseon; fish], 나물 [namul; seasoned vegetables], [jeon; Korean traditional pancake], 한과 [Hangwa; Korean traditional sweets] and many more. Note that the preparation of dishes vary slightly depending on a family, as some families add 바나나 [banana] or other foods that are not normally being served during Chuseok, but simply survived because one of the ancestors loved them. To give you an idea of how dishes are places, here are some pictures.


5. Chuseok Greetings: Phrases You Need to Know

Knowing how to say ‘Happy Chuseok’ in Korea is important since people exchange many Chuseok greetings to each other in Korea.

1- 즐거운 한가위 보내세요.

  • Jeulgeoun hangawi bonaeseyo.
  • I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

즐거운[jeulgeoun] - pleasant
한가위 [hangawi] - Korean Thanksgiving Day, aka 추석 [Chuseok]

2- 좋은일만 가득하세요.

  • Joeunilman gadeukaseyo.
  • I wish you all the best.

좋은일 [joeunil] - good things
가득하다 [gadeukada] - full

3- 즐겁고 행복한 추석 보내시길 바랍니다.

  • Jeulgeopgo haengbokan chuseok bonaesigil baramnida.
  • We wish you a wonderful and happy Chuseok.

행복한 [haengbokan] - happy
추석 [Chuseok] - Korean Thanksgiving
바랍니다 [baramnida] - wish

4- 추석 때 어디 갔어요?

  • Chuseok ttae eodi gasseoyo?
  • Where did you go during Chuseok?

~때 [~ttae] - the moment
어디 갔어요? [eodi gasseoyo?] - where did you go?

5- 추석 때 무엇을 했나요?

  • Chuseok ttae mueoseul haennayo?
  • What did you do on Chuseok?

~때 [~ttae] - the moment
무엇을 했나요? [mueoseul haennayo?] - what did you do?

6- ~에 갔었습니다.

  • ~e gasseotseumnida.
  • I went to ~

Example:
추석 때 서울에 갔었습니다.
Chuseok ttae seoure gasseotseumnida.
I went to Seoul during Chuseok.


6. Activities for Foreigners During Chuseok

For travelers or foreigners living in Korea, Chuseok can be lonely since everyone including friends will be away to celebrate Chuseok. The good news is there are many events only for foreigners during this time–for example, 캐리비안베이 [Caribbean Bay] at Everland offers special discounts for foreigners, so that they can enjoy the indoor and outdoor water park.

To receive a discount, visit their website and download a special discount coupon during the Chuseok event. Caribbean Bay is one of the most crowded amusement parks in Korea, but if you have a privilege to enjoy a spacious place with fewer people.

Also, many other touristic areas offer special events during Chuseok, so be sure to check out their events to enjoy them too.


7. How KoreanClass101 Can Help You

You may want to check out our free lessons such as Korean Thanksgiving Day, a culture class about Chuseok and 7 must-know vocabularies for Chuseok and many more. We also have more Chuseok related Korean articles such as here and top 10 Korean Special event :Chuseok .
Feel free to visit KoreanClass101 for free vocabulary lists, pronunciation practices and also a forum where you can ask any questions about Korea including grammar, pronunciation, cultures and so on.

We hope you found this blog informative and good luck with studying Korean!

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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!

Conclusion: How KoreanClass101 Can Help You Master Korean

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!

To continue learning about Korean culture and the language, explore KoreanClass101.com and take advantage of our numerous learning tools:

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Whatever your reason for learning Korean, know that your hard work and determination will pay off! And KoreanClass101 will be here with you on each step of your journey to Korean mastery.

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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. :)

To continue in your Korean studies, explore KoreanClass101.com and take advantage of our fun and practical learning tools! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study free Korean vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow Korean learners on our community forums! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin learning Korean with our MyTeacher program using a more personalized plan with your own teacher!

Learning Korean is no easy feat, but fret not. Your hard work and determination will pay off, and with our constant support, you’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Korean like a native before you know it!

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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!