Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year

If you fucked it up the first time there's always the Lunar New Year. This year the Lunar New Year falls on Monday. This is one of Korea's busiest week. One of 2 weeks that Seoul becomes a ghost town The Korean Lunar New Year and the Korean Full Moon Thanksgiving (Chuseok).

Most Korean people are on a mass exodus to their country side homes. It's where one of the parents are originally from or their Grandparents. In some cases it's where their ancestors are buried. Families come together and gift each other with money and feast on a variety of delicious Korean dishes.

Unlike the North American holiday system Korea is restricted to a few holidays a year. If your lucky you might have a total of 10 days off in a year. These 10 days vary from year to year due to the lunar calender which makes dates change from year to year. For example... last year the Korean Lunar New Year fell in the month of February. As you may well have known this year the same holiday is in January.

This year my New Year's plan was to get out of Seoul at least once a month. Last weekend a bunch of friends and I ventured out of Seoul to visit a Folk Village and the city fortress of Suwon. Suwon is a city south of Seoul about an hour out by transportation. The hour varies depending on what system of transportation a person takes. On our way to Suwon we caught the bus which took almost two hours. We stayed the night in Suwon and saw the important sights or the ones that were visible from our point of trajectory. The fortress is smack in the middle of town surrounded by mountains and a wall encircling the the fortress. It's amazing.

The best part of this time around is that I'm not in the drunken stupor that I was in a few weeks back. Later today I will visit my Aunts' and Uncles'. We will travel to see my Grandfather's younger brother who is the head of the family (It's a Confusionist/cultural thing, my grandfather passed away before my mother was married now my grandfather's younger brother is the head of the family. I just call him Grandfather or lil Grandfather). We will feast on food. We will give our respects to our elders by bowing in traditional Korean (I'm still figuring out how to do that right). The men will gather around a table and play 7 card stud. This is the Korean Lunar New Year!

Happy Korean Lunar New Year everybody.

I'd like to take this time to congratulate the four commenter's on my previous post. Congratulations. Although, originally there were only going to be three winners I think an exception can be granted to the four who stamped their mark of approval.

The winners are...

Sandi
Julian
JenBun
Paris

If the following four can drop a note in my inbox/email with their address I can begin stocking you four. No, seriously their should be a gift culturally Korean in the mail for you within the month.

I ask in return (minus JenBun, this originated through her) the three of you ladies to forward a gift as done here on this site or something similar. Actually, adding your own twist would definitely add some flavor.

... and my favorite alcoholic beverage is... wait for it... Gin & Apple Juice on ice. I'll settle for whiskey on ice if no apple juice is available.

Cheers!

4 comments:

Sandi said...

I wuv you man!

Paris said...

Thank you. Now, can we go drinking?! I need some fuckin' vodka!! ;)

Happy Korean Lunar New Year to you as well!! *hugs*

HOPELESSBELIEVER said...

Ohhh, how cool Luis, u mean I won??? I never win anything!! LOL. I am really enjoying learning about the Korean culture thru your blog. I love close knit family stuff, and the culture there seems to put a lot of emphasis on that. I think it is really grand! Thank you so much for including me in the winners circle, I'm very excited and I will start thinking about something I can send that is purely Oklahoma, USA. LOL Take care my dear friend, I'll send u an email soon, :)
Julian

HOPELESSBELIEVER said...

Ohhhhh, and Happy Lunar New Year !!!!!!