春节 Chūnjié in China, 元日 Ganjitsu in Japan, 節元旦 Tết Nguyên Đán in Vietnam , and 설날 Seollal in S. Korea.
The Lunar New Year is upon us and the sheep, goats, & rams are running rampant as those of us are gearing up to celebrate “the year of the goat” with our family and friends.
( I am going to need somebody to revive me after the 100th showing of this video and restore my hearing after the 1000th time hearing this melody. My 4-year-old will not give it a rest)
Today ( Feb 19, 2015) is the start of the lunar new year and we are celebrating those born of the year of the sheep. If you would like to know more about the Chinese Zodiac as well as the future dates of the New year (click here)
This will be the first official year that my son and I will be celebrating it in semi full S. Korean fashion with the traditional hanbok and the family meal. I am excited as well as honored to be invited by my yeobo’s family to be present for the Charye (paying respect to the ancestors through food and traditional rituals) and my son being invited to take part in the Jeol (the children’s bow where the elders gives out best wishes for the year and the children receives an envelope of “New Year’s money”). As for me and bowing, I’m not expected to take part in bowing because I am not married in the family but it’s optional and I am have to strongly think about that because being from another culture and country, bowing takes on an entirely different meaning and I have to mentally get pass that.
A cute little diddy, Ttekokguk by simonandmartina from Eat Your Kimchi
What I am excited about the most is the food. The Yeobo says that his family and the family of his friends( they all get together as a joint celebration because of the small amount of family that each has in the United States) have around 30- 50 dishes ready for the ancestorial ritual as well as the extra food they have prepared for the dinner and party for later on that night.
The most important dish that is a staple for every Seollal celebration is the Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup)
During Seollal,it is believed that everyone has a year added to their age and it is completed only after having Tteokguk. The whiteness of the soup symbolizes a clean, fresh start to the new year, and the disc-shaped rice cakes look like coins, so they symbolize a wish for upcoming prosperity for anyone who eats them. ~Maangchi.com
In addition to preparing for the Seollal for my family, I also included some activities for my students ( I may not have mentioned that away from the internet, where I am free to use bad language, bad grammar and incorrect sentence structure, I am a teacher to a class of eccentric and often unpredictable kindergarteners and first graders… see why I drink now). I found a printable package that included a game that is normally played during Seollal, Yut nori, a game I was badly schooled by my 6-year-old student. The package can be found @These Temporary Tents
It doesn’t matter how we spend the Seollal holiday. It can be spent surrounded by family and friends or it can be a spent alone enjoying some much-needed quality time however you spend it be sure to stay safe and remember to wish others the best of luck for the year.
As I put the last touches to this post, My family wishes you and yours a 새해 복 많이 받으세요 sae hae bok manhi bah doo seh you. (Happy New Year and lots of good luck in the coming new year)
Kill Me Heal Me’s Shin Se Gi 🙂