Christmas in Korea

It’s Christmas Eve!  Or, it is in Korea.  I’m not sure about your side of the world, but a happy holiday to everyone.

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The Christmas tree my co worker and I assembled for the school

This past week, I’ve taught my student’s how to write Christmas cards.  My 5th graders watched some clips from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  They made Christmas cards.  I was very happy to see that many of them were addressed to parents and friends.  It’s nice to see them write messages of thanks to friends and family.

As interesting  a typical North American Christmas can be, that is not what is in the air in Korea.  Christmas here has a lot more Cupid involved than Old Saint Nick.  It’s a couple’s holiday, where everyone goes out and leaves the kids at home.  And just like New Year’s, if you are single, it’s a pretty depressing holiday.  There’s a lot of pressure to have a date.  Of course, it also matters on who you are.  If your the type of person to be bothered by all of your friends asking if you’ve got a date, it’s going to be annoying.  If you don’t care about the teasing, it’ll be just like any other day.

As for me, I’m a little oblivious to Christmas here.  I know the holiday is here, but there hasn’t been any of the traditions that usually precede Christmas.  I did get a little teary eyed when I heard the Mannheim Steamroller clip in Home Alone.  My family always plays their music around this time of year.  It’s a constant presence-more so than any Bing Crosby music has been apart of our traditions.

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A Christmas light installation by the Daegu Bank

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Notice the DG logo in the center of the display.

Korea’s family oriented holidays are Chuseok(Korean Thanksgiving) and Seollal(Lunar New Year).  From what I’ve seen and heard though, Korea starting to get hooked on the concept of a commercial Christmas.  It’s a bit different.  The Hyundai Departmant store in Daegu was decorated in Kakao Talk characters.

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If you ever thought Korea wasn’t serious about Kakao, guess again.

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Dancing Bears at the Hyundai Department Store

Dancing Bears at the Hyundai Department Store

A giant, electronic Christmas tree was placed outside.  For 500 won, you could have it play your favorite Christmas song, along with a light show.

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The tree as they were setting it up in November. Surprisingly, the commercial Christmas season starts very similarly to North America.

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas season!

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4 thoughts on “Christmas in Korea

  1. Have a Merry Christmas. I hope that your day is shared with people that you enjoy, and the time you share is memorable. This is a year of making new friends, and have great times.

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  2. So exciting! Love all the pictures and learning about the way Holidays are different or used differently across the world. I Think having kids learn to write Christmas Cards is a great idea!!! It’s fun, practical and has a some lasting memories…do you have any photos of them? I guess that might be hard to do in a class room, but I’m sure they were very cute.

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    • I actually have a ton of pjotos of them. It’s expecred of me. Part of my job is to post photos of classes to the scool facebook page. I didn’t want to put any of those pictures on the blog to respect the kids’ privacy. If you look up Seongnam Elementary on facebook, you’ll find them.

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  3. I so enjoyed reading your post. I was out of town and was so busy, I didn’t check my email often. I took care of the essentials though. Bills! I hope you had a nice holiday and a very Merry Christmas MegElyse.

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