Eastern New year in Korea

In Korea the New year has always been a very important holiday (Eastern New year, of course, according to the lunar calendar). It sought all day to spend at home, in the family circle. In the past years around the holidays, even petty criminals were released from prison to go home under parole. In the New year, it is rare to meet travelers, but if someone had to celebrate a holiday on the road, the innkeeper, traditionally did not take money from the traveler for meals and overnight. I can’t guarantee that if you arrive in Korea for the New year – i.e. on 12th Feb, — you will be provided with free billeting. But in any case you will not regret it.

What to do, say, in Seoul for the New year? Ideally a quick meet with some local citizen and to get invited (still homemade holiday when it is customary to pay visits). If not – go to the restaurant, so at least there’s plenty of naprobovatsya Korean new year treats. On the street you can buy roasted acorns “amp”, sticky caramel “ut”, beans “tan-UNSC” and other traditional sweets. Be sure to visit one of the many bars in Seoul-karaoke. Stranger you feel there will not be: I love the Koreans of the Soviet Estrada. This is the rare country (even more interestingly, a cap, and not the SOC), where modern Patriotic songs are very well known, and, moreover, extremely popular. I love Kobzon, Vladimir Vysotsky, Viktor Tsoi (there’s more to it, apparently its Korean origin). In short, being in the bar-karaoke in Korea, our loving to sing national are clearly not confused.

The table in the new year feast is served, in accordance with a special ritual, and the dishes are unusual – they even ascribed magical properties. In honor of the ancestors, constructing a special table on which the dishes are arranged in a strict order: fish – on the East side, meat is from the West, rice and soups in the middle, and the rest is placed in free space. In wealthy families, the sacrificial ceremony is usually held in family altars or Cumorah, in peasant families, it was committed in front of memorial plaques in one of the rooms. The table sat in order of seniority. The head of the family was the Manager of the lunch. He poured in bowls of wine, to meat and vegetable dishes, put chopsticks or soup spoons. Then all the participants would sit on the floor and made three prostrations. After the ceremony, the sacrificial table was cleared, and was taken as a common meal that included a bottle of Korean wine Manguang.

The duties of the children during the visits to friends and relatives were attributed to bow to all adult men, for which they received fruits, chestnuts and small coins. Young girls, as citizens bearing the mourning, the guests did not go. And there is fun to be had! For example, one of leisure have been, and in some places is still, the collective composition of verse – a kind of spell for good luck.

Meeting the first full moon in the new year accompanied by what must be especially nice to the tourists, folk festivals and colorful ceremonies. So, in Seoul widespread ritual of walking on bridges. A huge crowd of adults and children in multi-colored robes are on the bridges. Festivities and merriment continued all night: on the bridges of the capital settled merchants, magicians and comedians. The Koreans there was a belief that those who go into the night seven bridges, for the entire year will provide yourself happiness. The word “bridge” and “foot” in Korean sound the same – Taree, therefore, probably were born and a belief that those who walk on bridges in the first full moon, will have strong legs and will never erase.

Among the Christmas traditions there were many superstitions connected with certain days and. Starting from the first day of the first month of the new year, the day count were not ordinal numbers, and name of the corresponding animal: mouse day, day of the ox, tiger, rabbit and so on. The days were called by names of animals, covered with hair, was called “hairy days” and the rest, respectively, the “hairless”. If the first day of the New year falls on “hairy day”, this gives hope for a good harvest. On the day arranged mouse “game mouse flame”: the peasants bred in field fires and burned dry grass to use as fertilizer for the upcoming planting. It was thought that if the evening to start pounding in a mortar, then mouse-the male will become impotent – then they will be less and they will not cause much damage to the crop. On the day snakes were combed and not sheared hair, and on the day tiger was sitting at home and not had visitors. It was believed that those who violate the ban will be eaten by a tiger.

On the second day of the New year it was customary to hide all the shoes in the house. Its origin was due to a belief that at night the house was entered in some kind of evil spirit and each was tried on children’s shoes that threatened the owner of the house setbacks throughout the year. To prevent bad luck, shoes were hiding, sooner switched off the light and went to bed. In front of the gate wiring pulled straw, and on the door hung a small sieve to keep the night visitor. It was assumed that the spirit is interested in the sieve and will start to count on him numerous holes. And there too, and dawn will come.

 

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