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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! I’m Jaehwi from KoreanClass101.com.
Do you know how Korean people celebrate New Year's Day? In this lesson, you'll learn some important phrases about Korean New Year's and some valuable cultural tips.
In Korean, New Year's Day is called
[slowly] 설날
Unlike western countries, Koreans celebrate New Year's Day 설날 (seolnal) on the first day of the lunar calendar, not the solar calendar. Because these two calendars don’t align, New Year’s Day in Korea differs each year. For example, in 2013, it was on February 10th, and in 2014, it was on January 31st.
On 설날 or New Year's Day, we greet each other by saying 새해 복 많이 받으세요!
(slow) 새해 복 많이 받으세요!
It means "Happy New Year!"
When you meet someone for the first time in the new year, be sure to greet them with this phrase.
On the other hand, when you meet a group of people on New Year's day, you can say...
여러분, 새해 복 많이 받으세요.
(slow) 여러분, 새해 복 많이 받으세요.
It means “Happy New Year, everyone.”
Korean people also celebrate the holiday with special events and customs. The most popular one is...
(slow) 세배
It's a "New Year's bow."
The 세배 (sebae) is the first greeting of the New Year. To do this, Korean people typically get down on their knees and bow their heads to the ground. Then, they say, "Happy New Year,” or 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (saehae bok mani badeuseyo) when they bow.
On this special day, Korean people eat 떡국
(slow) 떡국
It's a rice-cake soup.
After the memorial, the family comes together to eat a special dish called 떡국 (ddeok-guk). This is a type of soup made with thin rice-cake pieces in broth. In South Korea, everyone eats this soup on the morning of New Year's Day. Do you know why? In Korean, when you become one year older, you say, "I ate one more year," 한 살 더 먹었다 (hansal deo meoggeotta). These phrases use the same verb, which means “to eat food” 먹다 (meoktta). So, Korean people eat a bowl of this soup on New Year's Day to represent growing one more year in age. Everyone in Korea becomes one year older on New Year's Day, no matter the date of their actual birthday.
Let's wrap up this lesson by recapping what you've learned. Listen to the expression and repeat after me.
“New Year's Day (Lunar New Year's day).”
“Happy New Year!”
새해 복 많이 받으세요!
새해 복 많이 받으세요!
“New Year's bow.”
“rice-cake soup.”
Well done! [pause]
You just learned how Korean people celebrate "New Year's Day" and some important facts about the holiday.
And, if you really want to become fluent and speak Korean from the very first lesson, go to KoreanClass101.com.
I’ll see you next time. 안녕히 계세요.