By Kim Hyelin and Lee Hana
On Jan. 1 this year, many Koreans headed out to the east coast with their friends and family to catch the first sunrise of 2020 and wish for a fruitful year ahead.
Another important date is coming up for Koreans, however: Lunar New Year, or Seollal, the beginning of a new year according to the traditional calendar coordinated by the moon’s cycles.
Seollal this year falls on Jan. 25. As the first major holiday of 2020, Koreans will get four days off from Jan. 24-27. They traditionally celebrate Seollal eating tteokguk (rice cake soup) and performing jesa, a memorial ceremony for ancestors. Dressed in traditional Hanbok, family members chat and play traditional games together.
By visiting a Korean Cultural Center (KCC) abroad, people not in Korea can also participate in Seollal celebrations this year.
The KCC in Osaka, Japan, will hold a 2020 Seollal event on Jan. 26. The KCC in Sydney, Australia, will run the 2020 Sydney Lunar New Year Festival from Jan. 25 to Feb. 9.
A number of Seollal events large and small have also been prepared at other KCCs around the world to celebrate the new year.
Noreum Machi, a band specializing in traditional Korean music, will play at the Moscow Conservatory on Jan. 28.
The documentary film “Orae Project” will be screened on Jan. 16. The film brings to light the lives of Seoul’s artisans who have worked in the same profession and at the same place for many years. A meet-and-greet with the movie’s director is scheduled after the screening.
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Spain, Korea will be the country of honor at FITUR 2020, an international tourism fair held at Madrid’s IFEMA. The KCC here will run the Korea booth from Jan. 22-26
Los Angeles, U.S.
The exhibit “Minhwa: Encounter of Three Artists” will run from Jan. 10-24 at the second-floor art gallery at the KCC in Los Angeles. Around 30 works by contemporary minhwa artists working in Korea and Southern California will be featured, including those by Cheong Hae Cheong, Theresa W. Hwang and Soonja Yoo.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and the United Arab Emirates, the festival Korea Day and other events will be held at Zayed University and Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.