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Seollal

Seollal (설날) is the Korean New Year, one of the most significant traditional holidays celebrated in Korea. Here's some information about Seollal:

Date: Seollal is based on the lunar calendar and typically falls between January 21st and February 20th on the Gregorian calendar. The specific date varies each year.

Significance: Seollal marks the beginning of the lunar new year and is considered the most important holiday in Korean culture. It is a time for family reunions, ancestral rituals, and traditional customs.

Preparation: In the weeks leading up to Seollal, families engage in thorough cleaning of their homes (Sebae-Tdon), known as "sepan" to sweep away any bad luck and welcome the new year with a fresh start. They also prepare special foods and delicacies for the holiday feast.

Celebrations: Seollal is celebrated with various customs and traditions, including:

1. Family Reunions: Family members gather from near and far to celebrate Seollal together. It is a time for family bonding and strengthening relationships.

2. Ancestral Rituals: Families pay respects to their ancestors through a ritual called "Charye." They offer food and drink to their ancestors and bow as a sign of reverence and gratitude.

3. Sebae (New Year's Bow): Younger family members perform a formal bow (Sebae) to their elders to show respect and receive blessings in return. Elders often give gifts or money (Sebaetdon) to the younger generation.

4. Traditional Clothing: Many Koreans wear traditional clothing called "hanbok" during Seollal. Hanbok is worn as a symbol of cultural pride and respect for tradition.

5. Special Foods: Traditional foods such as "tteokguk" (rice cake soup), "jeon" (pan-fried delicacies), and "ddeokbokki" (spicy rice cakes) are prepared and enjoyed during Seollal.

Wishing: On Seollal, may families come together to celebrate the joyous occasion, honor their ancestors, and create cherished memories for the year ahead. May the new year bring happiness, prosperity, and good health to all. "새해 복 많이 받으세요!" (Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!) - which means "Receive many blessings in the New Year!"

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