새해 복 많이 받으세요, Happy Lunar New Year everyone!!! In Korea, 설날 (Seol-nal) marks the first day of the new year on the lunar calendar and is one of the most important holidays of the year. Being a family holiday, most people venture out to the countryside to spend this holiday gathered at the homes of their grandparents or parents for a few days. Lucky for me, my boyfriend’s grandmother lives in Seoul, so we have the luxury of skipping the chaotic traffic and getting to return to our home at the end of the day.
Other than this small convenience and the much needed days off work, I really love the rich traditions that come along with 설날. There’s 제사 (jesa): a ceremonial rite where you honor your deceased ancestors, 세배 (sebae): a deep bow given to your elders and of course all the delicious food you get to eat like 떡국 (rice cake soup). Of course for the children there are also games and gifts of cash. All of theses things wrapped up with some good quality family time is really nice, especially since i don’t get to see my side of the family very often.
One thing I really like about holidays like this is the 한복 (hanbok). Typically, the 한복 is only seen on special occasions like weddings, 추석 (thanksgiving), 설날 (lunar new year) or in traditional performances. Although they are mostly worn by children and elders for this particular holiday, it’s still nice to see this lovely tradition being upheld to this day.
A few years ago I wrote a post about the 한복 to go along with a photoshoot my boyfriend and I had done. This year we decided to revisit the concept for 설날, but with more of a family theme by including our lovely little maltese 우유 (Uyu). We bought him an adorable dog hanbok and rented hanboks for ourselves that would compliment his. We were really pleased with the results and had a lot of fun doing it!
Families come in all shapes, colors, sizes and species. This is ours. There is no better way to spend any holiday than with the ones that you love. So from our family to yours… have a very happy and prosperous new year!