* This post is written by Nutty Nomads, one of the Korea Blog’s Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
Celebrating Seollal! Happy Lunar New Year! Curious about all the “Happy New Year” posts on facebook and twitter so long after Jan. 1st? Well, the Lunar New Year is also celebrated in many calendars and cultures outside of the United States, including Korea! This holiday in Korea is called Seollal, and we had the chance to celebrate with our Korean Cultural Center here in Los Angeles. This celebration was sponsored by both the Korean Cultural Center, LA and The International Culture Coalition, so you know it was going to be big! Everyone from our weekly Korean classes were invited to partake some traditional Korean foods and play traditional Korean games!
When we first arrived, we were handed plates piled high with delicious Korean foods like Jap-chae (glass noodles) Korean pancakes, and bulgogi (marinated beef). It was all homemade and there was PLENTY! Seconds, anyone? We also got to try hangwa (traditional sweets and cookies) which we have never had before. Cristina ended up getting more since it was so delicious!
After stuffing ourselves and hearing welcoming remarks from our teachers, the traditional games started. Competition was fierce, since winners of these games would receive special prizes! We decided to play “jegichagi”, which is a game that looks similar to our American hacky-sack game. The objective? Pass the shuttlecock around as much as you can just using your feet! In the old days, this game was played with a bag of coins. Needless to say, this game takes skill! We worked up a good post-dinner sweat with all of our jumping and kicking. Another game that was being played was called “yutnori”, which is a traditional board game that uses stick which you throw to help move your pieces around a board.
This holiday centers around family. Ancestors are remembered and families are brought together to eat and play as the New Year is welcomed with open arms! This really was a fun experience and we hope to celebrate Seollal again next year!
To learn more about the Korean Culture Center here in Los Angeles, visit their website!
Until Next Time! ~
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