The lunar New Year’s Day is one of the folk holidays in Korea.
The Korean people keep their houses clean and tidy and prepare new clothes and special dishes on the eve of the lunar New Year’s Day and enjoy the holiday, playing various folk games.
Young people make a bow to seniors in their family, relatives and villages, wishing them good health and luck. They receive liquor, dishes, money or rice cake and fruits in return.
The special foods for this holiday include rice-cake soup, fermented fish and a cake made of wheat flour and roasted meat. The foods served on this day are called sechan and liquor is called seju.
Rice-cake soup is essential among the special dishes.
It came into being as a special lunar New Year’s Day dish as Korean ancestors began to eat soup mixed with white rice cakes in the meaning that solemnity and cleanliness must be kept that day.
Therefore, people asked others how many bowls of rice-cake soup they ate to know their ages.
Various folk games animate the atmosphere of the holiday.
People play folk games in the hope of a bumper harvest and intimate relations between relatives and neighbours.
They include popular yut (four-stick) game, seesawing, played by women and kite-flying, sleighing and top spinning by children.
People of different sex and ages dressed in traditional garments play the folk games, livening up the atmosphere.