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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to Korean Weekly Words, holiday edition. In this video, we’ll be talking about the very first holiday of the year which is New Year’s Day. Actually, there are two different version of the New Year’s Day and in this video, we’ll be talking about both.
1. 설날 (seollal) “New Year's Day”
In Korean, there are new New Year’s Day and old New Year’s Day. The new New Year’s Day is called 신정 (sinjeong) and that is for January 1st in Solar calendar. And 구정 (gujeong), old New Year’s Day, is for the 1st day of January in Lunar calendar. But if we just simply say 설날 (seollal) “New Year’s Day”, people will consider that you are talking about traditional New Year’s Day.
So in that sentence, we can say,
설날에 어디에 갈 예정이에요? (Seollare eodie gal yejeongieyo?)
“Where are you planning to go on New Year's Day?”
2. 설빔 (seolbim) “New Year's dress”
Not many people have 한복 (hanbok), Korean traditional dresses. So that means that not many people wear 설빔 (seolbim) these days on New Year’s Day.
So in the sentence, we can say,
조카에게 설빔을 선물로 주었습니다. (Jokaege seolbimeul seonmullo jueotsseumnida.)
“I gave New Year's dress as a gift to my nephew.”
3. 세배 (sebae) “New Year's bow”
On the day, the grandparents will be sitting in front of all the family and each member of the family will give the bow to their grandparents. So in that case, the bow is called 세배 (sebae). So in a sentence, we can say,
할아버지에게 세배를 하고 용돈을 받았습니다.
(Harabeojiege sebaereul hago yongdoneul badatsseumnida.)
which means that “I gave the New Year's bow to my grandfather and received the allowance.”
So that kind of allowance 용돈 (yongdon) is also called 세뱃돈 (sebaetdon) “the money for New Year’s bow.” It’s not the allowance that you can just get usually. It’s the money from the grandparents to your grandsons or sons and daughters with a wish to their health.
So if you’re a guy, you have to put your left hand over your right hand and have to do the bow like this. And you have to wait for three seconds and just come back. If you are a woman, they’re a little bit different, but you have to make sure that you put your right hand over your left hand if you’re a woman.
4. 차례 (charye) “ancestors' memorial services”
So not only giving the bow to the grandparents who are still alive, we also give the New Year’s bow to the ancestors too. If someone has a big family, they usually have the memorial services which is called 차례 (charye) and put their fruits and fishes and all the different types of dishes on the table for the ancestors. And all the family members including grandparents, the oldest family member of the family also give the bow, “New Year’s bow” 세배 (sebae), to the table thinking that their ancestors should be there and celebrate their holiday together. So these days, it kind of depends on the culture of the family so you will see.
So in a sentence, we can say,
어머니는 새해 전날에 차례상을 준비했습니다.
(Eomeonineun saehae jeonnare charyesangeul junbihaetsseumnida.)
“My mother prepared for the ancestors' memorial services the day before the New Year's Day.”
5. 나이를 하나 더 먹는다. (naireul hana deo meokneunda) “I ate one more year”
We use this actually a lot. When we say we got one year older, we actually use the word 먹다 (meokda) meaning “to eat”. So I can say
나이를 하나 더 먹었어.
(Naireul hana deo meogeosseo.)
which means that “I got one year older,” or what it literally means that “I ate one more year.”
I’m not sure why we started using this word, but I think it’s because, first, everyone in South Korea we get one year older on New Year’s day altogether. No matter when your actual birthday is, in Korea, everyone gets one year older on the same day which is New Year’s Day. And on New Year’s Day, we eat the soup with rice cake, and there’s some saying that, like, if you have a bowl of rice cake soup then you can get one year older. If you have two, you can get two years older. I think that’s kind of related to this phrase. So when I was a kid, I ate, I think, five bowls at the maximum because I want to be adult quickly. So in that case, I think I can say
나이를 하나 더 먹기 위해서 떡국을 한 접시 먹었습니다.
(Naireul hana deo meokgi wihaeseo tteokgugeul han jeopsi meogeotsseumnida.)
which means that “I ate one dish of rice cake soup to get one year older.”
Okay, that’s all the words about New Year’s Day. How many dishes of rice cake soup 떡국 (tteokguk) do you want to have? Please leave us a comment in Korean. Make sure to visit our website and we’ll see you next time.
다음 시간에 뵙겠습니다 (Daeum sigane boepgetsseumnida)
안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo)