SEOLLAL: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO KOREAN LUNAR NEW YEAR AND HOW BTS CELEBRATES THIS HOLIDAY
Updated: Jan 31
It's that time of the year when people celebrate different festivals during the cold and shivery months of January and February, by eating different types of food. They often involve themselves in rituals/traditions and spend time with their families. South Korea is no different from other countries, especially the East Asian ones.
Korean Lunar New Year: What is it?
In South Korea, Lunar New Year, also known as Seollal (설날), is celebrated for three days, according to the first day of the Korean Lunar calendar; beginning the day before and ending the day after (this year Seollal was on January 25th so the three-day celebrations began on the 24th to end on the 26th). The most important ritual of the Seollal holiday is the worship of the ancestors, known as "charye" (차례), when female relatives prepare food, that is served to the ancestors by male relatives. Together, they participate to the final step of the ceremony called "eumbok" (음복) by eating the food and seeking the ancestors' blessings for the coming year.
There are other activities done by Korean families like playing games such as, Yut Nori (윷놀이), but the most notable tradition of Seollal is Sebae (세배), which is the act of kneeling on the ground and bowing deeply. Children and students bow to their elders and receive small gifts of money after reciting a greeting. The most important food that is eaten during this time is Tteokguk (떡국), which is made of sliced rice cake (Tteok/떡), meat and seaweed.
Another thing one should know is that each Lunar New Year is represented by one among twelve animals, in a rotation of the Korean zodiac calendar. 2020 is the Year of the Rat. Unlike the West, Eastern countries see the rat in a positive light as the animal symbolizes a time of hard work, activity and renewal.
How did BTS Celebrate Seollal?
Since 2014 BTS has celebrated Lunar New Year/Seollal by either working on their music and promos, or spending time with their families. One of the most memorable moments was Episode 40 of Run BTS! in 2018, when BTS played games and did some activities to celebrate the Year of the Dog (which is gifted with a deep sense of loyalty and inspire other people's confidence). For this occasion, several photos of all the members wearing hanbok (한복) were uploaded on BTS’ Official Facebook page. Every year, BTS also sends a New Year message to their Chinese ARMYs on their Weibo account, and this year was no different.
On Facebook, BTS' individual selfies with a rat filter were uploaded during the celebrations. They spent Seollal in the United States, rehearsing for their first performance of Black Swan - the first single from their upcoming album Map Of The Soul: 7 - at the Late Late Show with James Corden. BTS also sent a New Year message to the Chinese ARMYs who listen to music on NetEase Cloud Music.
Wishing you, ARMY, a Happy Belated Lunar New Year/Seollal holiday!!!!! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!!!!!
Written by Anugya
Edited by Jessenia & Hel. B
Designed by Judy
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