The Christmas season is definitely one of the most awaited holidays of the year for Christians. Christmas is an annual festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated by billions of people around the world predominantly on the 25th of December as a religious and cultural celebration.
The cold breeze, the beautiful lights, decorations, the shopping sales, and most of all, the sense of giving are the Christmas vibes that we are used to. But aside from these beautiful things you can see around you, the most important thing is to spend time with your loved ones.
During the holiday season, people spend Christmas day with their family and close friends. Giving gifts, having fun, going to church and just being with each other is indeed the best way to celebrate Christmas.
Every country has its own way of celebrating Christmas, unlike Japan, Christmas is an official public holiday in South Korea – so people have the day off work and school! But they go back on the 26th. What do we know about the Korean way of celebrating Christmas and Korean Culture During The Holiday Season?
You know it’s already the Christmas season in South Korea when you see Santa Claus everywhere, Christmas lights shining throughout the whole streets, and you discount sales in different shopping malls. Of course, the Christmas season in South Korea is not complete without hearing Christmas songs sung by different K-pop idols like IU’s cover of Santa Tell Me, Twice’s Merry, Happy Exo’s What I Want For Christmas, and BTS’ version of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town. But, In South Korea, Christmas is not solely about religion.
Koreans do not know Christianity until the 17th century. There is no majority religious group in South Korea. Its population comprises a plurality of people who do not identify with any religion (46%) as well as considerable numbers of Christians (29%) and Buddhists (23%). If you think about the number of Christians in Korea, it will not be a surprise that the spirit of Christmas is really alive during the holiday season. So, what’s Christmas in South Korea be like?
Christmas in South Korea is as a national holiday. In fact, it is the only country among East Asian countries that consider it as a holiday. Even in North Korea, where having a religion is prohibited, Christmas is just a simple day. South Koreans celebrate Christmas day but not to the extent that they will travel all the way from the city to their families who live in the province. Most Koreans will spend Christmas with their friends and partners. In fact, some consider Christmas in Korea as “Another Valentine’s Day with Santa.”
Christmas preparation in South Korea starts in November, unlike in the Philippines, which is another Asian country with a large Christian population. Did you know that the Philippines, which is the largest Christian country in Asia, have the longest Christmas season starting from September? In Korea, September is still the Autumn season, so it’s pretty much different. Since it is a national holiday in South Korea, there is no such thing as a “Christmas Vacation.” So, if you’re a student or a teacher, you’ll go back to school on the 26th of December, same with the employees.
Korean Christmas Food
The usual Christmas food is not found in Korean cuisine. Foreigners who really miss their traditional Christmas food can look for restaurants that sell Western-style Christmas food. Usually, there are lots of restaurants like that in Itaewon. But, since you’re in South Korea, why not try to celebrate Christmas in a Korean way? If you want, you can still enjoy traditional Korean winter dishes like the following:
호떡 (Hotteok) – Korean Sweet Pancakes
붕어빵 (Bungeo-Bbang) – Goldfish Bread
떡볶이 (Tteokbokki) – Spicy Stir Fried Rice Cakes
오뎅 Odeng – Fish Cake
김치찌개 (Gimchijjigae) – Kimchi Stew
갈비찜 (Galbi Jjim) – Braised Beef Short Ribs
The Christmas season will never be complete without the traditional Christmas songs and carols. When we speak about songs, nobody can ever pull that off perfectly aside from their award-winning K-pop idols. Usually, Korean groups and solo artists release songs for Christmas with love, giving, and sharing as the main theme. This will be played all over South Korea, like in shopping malls, parks, and other public places. You can also hear some western Christmas music that K-pop artists cover, like IU and BTS.
One of the things that will make you feel the spirit of Christmas is the decorations. Usually, Korean families create their own trees in their homes. Outside, buildings and houses have Christmas lights that look really wonderful. The trees from big shopping centers are wonderfully decorated. Christmas decoration in South Korea is cheap. You can buy it at the local stores.
Christmas Cards And Gifts
Koreans will not go overboard on spending too much to buy Christmas gifts for everybody. But, if you have money, this is a perfect season to buy something because most of the shopping malls are on holiday sales. But if you don’t have, sending Christmas cards is enough to make their loved ones feel that they did not forget them during the holiday season. The themes of their Christmas cards are more inclined with nature which represents peace and warmth.
Christmas 3D Greeting Popup Cards
3D Popup card has been made using the best quality art paper with craftsmanship to match. The pop-up design is laser cut and carefully assembled by hand for a perfect model. There are many models that are simulated with Christmas symbols such as pine trees, Santa Claus, Snowmen, reindeer…
The 3D Greeting Popup Cards is suitable for Christmas, Use it to send Christmas greetings, and it can make a delightful addition to your bookshelf, study table, or display cabinet. Amaze your friends and family this Christmas with wonderful 3D Greeting Popup Cards. Choose the perfect festive card from our unique Christmas cards, and send a card that is sure to be remembered. You can send a personalized Christmas card with a gift message directly to the recipient.
A separate message note for your greeting message. This card comes packaged in its own individual poly bag. A perfectly sized blank envelope is included with the card so you can ship it off to the recipient right away.
Reference: ling-app.com, whychristmas.com, 90daykorean.com