So here in Korea we have some different holidays that I feel should be mentioned. There are official holidays where we get days off of work and there are the fun made-up ones that even us Waygooks (foreigners) can enjoy.
January 1st: Solar New Year. This is what it is...we celebrate it differently in the US by drinking and making loud noises. Here in Korea, or at least in Busan where I celebrated the new year, they ring a bell and everyone is silent. Cold and silent. Unfortunately my friend and I didn't catch on until our fourth or fifth "HAPPY NEW YEAR" which we screamed to everyone around us. Don't worry. A lot of the Korean people got caught up in our joy and responded in kind.
February 2 - 4, 2011 Seollal Or better known as "Lunar New Year" we get an actual day off for this day...actually a couple of days off. It's super nice. We eat yummy soup with rice dumplings. It tastes a lot like chicken dumpling soup. SO GOOD! I celebrated Lunar New Year with my landlords. They invited me to dinner where we had the traditional food and talked about school.
February 14 Valentine's Day. Not exactly like home since this is the day where the GIRL gives the GUY candy or chocolate. Yay!
March 1 Independence Movement Day Not really independence day...but a day where they celebrate the MOVEMENT of Independence from Japan. We get a day off and everyone "takes a rest"
March 14 White Day Not the racist day it implies. Today is the day where the GUY gives the GIRL candy. One month after Valentine's Day. Don't worry...the single people will be represented next month ;)
April 14 Black Day Ummm yeah. For those single people out there we get our own special day too. They eat noodles with Meat and Black Bean Sauce. It is called 자장면 (Jajangmyeon). Yummy. Apparently it gives you gas so...watch out.
May 1 Labor Day Not a real national holiday but banks and some businesses are closed. This year it falls on a Sunday so I'm not sure if school teachers get it off or not.
May 5 Children's Day On this day, parents dress up their little ones and take them to children’s parks, amusement parks, zoos, or to the cinema for a full day of fun and games. Lucky kids <3 and the teachers who get the day off as well!
May 8 Parent's Day Not too far behind Children's Day is Parent's Day!! ON this day Sons and Daughters show their love and appreciation for their parents. I think it is a substitute for Mother's and Father's Day in America.
May 10 Buddha’s Birthday I've been told it is this day that is the BEST for visiting temples because lanterns are strung up from every available branch and building. They also have parades with the lit lanterns at night--I can't wait to see it!
May 14th – Rose Day or Yellow Day Ha haa you guessed it!! There had to be ANOTHER thing on the 14th. Beginning to see a trend? Couples exchange roses, and those lonely hearts gather for curry and companionship. Apparently dressing in yellow is also recommended.
June 6 Memorial Day Just like America they celebrate and honor the soldiers and civilians who have given their lives for their country.
June 14th – Kiss Day The day when couples kiss each other. There is one site puts it as: ‘Lovers confess their feelings to one another and kiss passionately.’ Just another excuse to make out really!!
July 14th – Silver Day Couples can freely ask their friends to give them money to pay for a date! Couples exchange gifts made of silver, and announce their relationship to their friends. I’m thinking this is a good idea as you get yourself a free date day!
July 17 Constitution Day Commemorates the proclamation of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea that was made on July 17, 1948.
August 14th – Green Day Couples are supposed to dress in green, and walk outside in the woods. Singles would drink a (green) bottle of soju to console themselves.
August 15 Liberation Day Korea is liberated from Japan so we celebrate it :D
September 11 - 13 Chuseok A lot like American Thanks Giving they get together with their family and eat a lot of traditional Korean food. YUMMY!
September 14th – Photo & Music Day Couples take photographs together, go out with friends in the evening to Noraebangs (Karaoke) or night clubs, places with music in order to make their relationship public.
October 3 National Foundation Day This day commemorates the founding of the Korean nation in 2333 B.C.
October 9 Hangeul Day Hanguel is the Korean Language and on this day in 1446 it was created! WOO HOO!!
October 14th – Wine Day Couples have wine on this day, because wine drinking is the thing to do in autumn.
October 24th – Apple Day The Korean word for apple is called ‘Sa-gwa’ (사과), also means to apologize. On this day, friends, family and couples give an apple to each other to apologize for past mistakes.
November 11 is Pepero Day!! It is named after the Korean snack Pepero and held on November 11, since the date "11/11" resembles four sticks of Pepero. The holiday is observed mostly by young people and couples, who exchange Pepero sticks, other candies, and romantic gifts.
November 14th – Movie & Orange Day Couples would watch a movie together while having some orange juice.
December 14th – Hug Day Couples are meant to hug one another lovingly to stay warm in the cold winter months. Before you ask.."NO!" to premature hugs for the year. Couples can only hug on THIS DAY!! Single people? Go and find someone to hug cause you're not restricting to showing the love to just one person ^^
December 25 Christmas NOT such a big deal here in Korea. The older kids do not get Christmas presents but they still celebrate the Holiday with traditional Korean Foods.