Koreans have very strong ideas when it comes to the proper birthing and upbringing of a child. Mainly rooted in traditional Eastern medicine and Confucian philosophy, there are many wonderful customs that can be celebrated in modern life even outside of Korea.
Hwangap 환갑 is the traditional Korean celebration of the 60th birthday. The occasion marks the auspicious return to the year of one’s birth after five times around the 12-year lunar cycle. In pre-industrial Korea, hwangap was regarded as a sign of longevity due to a shorter life expectancy, and it marked the transition of an individual from an active role in the family and society to an advisory role, a retirement of sorts.
Did you know that approximately 1 million people in the USA can speak Korean? And many more are starting to learn each year, inspired by a love of K-Pop, K-Drama, K-Movies, and other Korean cultural exports.
Korea is a country rich in etiquette, culture, and customs that are sometimes oceans apart from what you’d find in the West. Part of this is due to the strong influence Confucian teachings have had on the development of Korean etiquette and culture over the last 1,500 years. In Korea, age and social status are closely tied together and are key to determining how to act, who does what, and even how to speak. If you want to understand why crossing your legs might cause offense, how to greet people properly, and why Koreans behave the way they do, then read on and discover all there is to learn about Korean etiquette and culture.
Happy Korean New Year! Celebrating the New Year is a serious matter for Koreans. So much so that we often celebrate it twice a year – first on the Gregorian calendar New Year’s Day and second on the Lunar New Year’s Day. I still remember clearly celebrating this day back in Korea when I was a boy. Here are 5 top highlights of the day that Korean families all over the world still look forward to on Seollal. Try one or try them all this year, even if it’s just on Zoom.
2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit. The Lunar New Year starts on January 22, 2023, and ends on February 9, 2024. Thanks to a new law passed in Korea late last year, citizens are about to become a year or two younger.
Traditional Korean weddings are beautiful events full of symbolism and deep rooted culture. It is considered the uniting of the Eum and Yang (Yin / Yang), a concept of opposite or contrary forces that are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.
One of the great duties in Korean culture is the proper burial of beloved family members. In the olden days, it was believed that the deceased could only make a smooth transition into the afterlife and avoid becoming a wandering ghost, or kaekkwi, if they were correctly sent off via a proper Korean funeral.