Where to Visit in Seoul During Korean Lunar New Year 2017, Seollal

Happy New Year! Can you believe 2016 is officially over? Neither can we!

2017 is the Year of the Rooster and Koreans celebrate the Lunar New Year, or ‘Seollal’ in Korean, which is one of the biggest holidays in Korea. This year, Seollal is from the 27th to 30th of January.

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During the holiday period, many Koreans head back to their hometown to see their families and pay respect to ancestors. As most people head out of Seoul during this time to see their families, the city that is usually bustling with people becomes a lot more peaceful and quiet.

Also, many businesses including major department stores and small local shops close during the holiday period. But don’t be in despair as travelers (or you!) can find and partake in Seollal events at many tourist attractions and destinations within and around Seoul.

Check out these destinations where you can celebrate and make the most of your trip during the Korean Lunar New Year holiday!

1. Theme Parks

South Korea’s three best theme parks, Lotte World, Everland and Seoul Land are open during the Korean Lunar New Year and they offer various attractions and winter-themed events like sledding, light shows and parades.

Lotte World is holding a special parade where performers wearing colorful “Hanbok” (Korean traditional costume) will play traditional Korean instruments as they sing and dance. Seoul Land.jpgSeoul Land is also hosting a Pond Smelt Festival consisting of a sledding slope, fishing area, indoor children’s playground and food trucks selling delicious food.

2. Korean Royal Palaces

seollal-korean-lunar-newyear-9If the royal palaces are somewhere you’ve been meaning to visit, Seollal is the perfect time to go. Four of the royal palaces in Seoul (Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung) will be open and will showcase different programs for the guests.seollal-korean-lunar-newyear-8Programs include traditional rituals and games, activities that you can participate in and performances like the famous “changing of the guards” ceremony with the palace as the perfect backdrop. You can also have an in-depth tour of the Korean royal palaces here.

3. National Folk Museum of Korea

You may perceive museums as mundane places, but head to one during Seollal and you’ll find that it’s actually quite fun and exciting!seollal-korean-lunar-newyear (7).jpgDuring Seollal, the National Folk Museum of Korea, located in Gyeongbokgung Palace offers a range of hands-on programs and exhibitions such as arts and crafts and traditional folk games for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

You can try playing Korean traditional games like “paengichigi (top spinning)”, “jegichagi (hacky sack)” and “yutnori (a board game where you throw sticks)”.

4. Namsangol Hanok Village

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The Namsangol Hanok Village is a collection of five traditional Korean houses from the Joseon Dynasty that have been restored. As part of the Seollal festivities, here you can register for various experiences involving Korean traditional percussions, folk songs, games and more. It’s sure to be a lot of fun!

5. Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village is also hosting Seollal events such as folk games and traditional Korean music performances.

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There are also performances like tightrope walking, horseback martial arts and role playing by actors donned in makeup and outfits that make it look like they’re from the Joseon dynasty.

Have a private tour to the UNESCO-designated Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village in one day here.

6. National Gugak Center

The National Gugak Center is a place that preserves and promotes Korean traditional music and performances.

Instagram Photo by yangban.rocker

During Seollal, there are special cultural performances about the history of Korea that are both educational and entertaining!

Other destinations to visit during Seollal holiday in Seoul

Other major tourist attractions that are also open during the Korean Lunar New Year holiday period include COEX Aquarium, N Seoul Tower and Myeong Dong Nanta Theatre. All of them are easy to reach by subway and they are truly wonderful places to visit with your family and friends and have a great time together.

So, what are you waiting for? Do try a visit to one of these spots during Seollal!

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop for more fun and exciting posts like this one!
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Photo Credits
Seoul Land
KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea Korea_2013_Seollal_07 via photopin (license)
KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea 2015_Seollal_09 via photopin (license)
KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea 2015_Seollal_22 via photopin (license)

5 Reasons Why You Must Visit South Korea in February

In terms of weather, the most favorable times to visit South Korea are during the months of  March to May and September to November. However, February can also be a fabulous time for travelers to visit South Korea. Here are 5 great reasons why:

1. Save Your Travel Expenses

incheon-international-airport-680402_1920.jpgWant to save travel expenses? We strongly recommend you visit South Korea in February if you’re considering a budget travel because during the winter season, hotels prices and airline prices drop dramatically along with the temperature! 😉

2. Awe-inspiring Winter Landscapes

allowto_freedownload_snap_1531.jpgThough the cold winter season has kicked off a little bit later than last year, you can still enjoy the amazing landscapes of snow-capped mountains and frozen rivers as well as a winter hike at beautiful national parks around South Korea. allowto_freedownload_landscape_1521.jpgFor instance, Seoraksan Mountain (Seoraksan National Park), located in Sokcho, which is the eastern part of South Korea, boasts magnificent natural scenery in winter. It is where you can enjoy both winter hiking and the beautiful East Sea situated nearby.ec868decb488-1For free travelers who want to travel across Korea on their own without experiencing any problems trying to figure out where to go and how to get there, here’s a perfect 1-day tour to Sokcho. Booking is available here.

3. Korean Lunar New Year Traditional Events

From 27th to 30th January in 2017 is the Korean Lunar New Year, or “Seollal” in Korean. As a celebration of Seollal, there will be various events and traditional experience programs for foreign visitors and travelers. Try paying a visit to Namsangol Hanok Village and the Korean Folk Village to enjoy traditional performances, traditional craft programs and folk games.roof-tile-1171294_1920Plus, while most shops and restaurants will be closed, Korea’s four major palaces, Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung, will be open on the very day of Lunar New Year, 27th of January. You’ll be able to enter the palaces for free on this day, how awesome is that! If you want to take a look around the palaces in depth, check out this palace tour.

4. Feast on Traditional Foods

As mentioned above, Koreans will be celebrating the Korean Lunar New Year, which means that there will be plenty of traditional foods all over the country! Visit local markets like Gwangjang Market or Namdaemun Market during this time of year, and you’ll find ample foods that Koreans eat during the Lunar New Year. Try ‘Yakgwa (honey cookies)’, ‘Hangwa (traditional Korean sweets)’, ‘Jeon (pancake)’ or ‘Tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup)’! 🙂

5. All-Time Favorite Winter Activities & Festivals

Though the temperature is chilly in South Korea, that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying outdoor activities as there is an abundance of them! From sledding, skiing and ice fishing to light festivals, there’s so much to see and experience.

Try a visit to the Garden of Morning Calm where there are thousands of varieties of plants and flowers on display as well as a lighting festival that’s full of beautiful colors! There are also plenty of outdoor winter activities all around the country! Check out this link for more places to go and things to do!

Now that you know why February is a great time to visit South Korea, visit Korea’s #1 travel guide, Trazy.com, to discover the latest, newest, trendiest things to do in South Korea!button_main

2015 Festivals in Seollal holiday period!

Korea’s biggest holiday Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) is coming next week (Feb 18~20).

Unlike other big holidays, there will be less people in the street and most shops will be closed especially on the day of Seollal (Feb 19).

New year’s day in Korea is about visiting our parent’s home and spending time together with families.

Then what can travelers do during this long holiday?

Where to go

1. Korea Folk Village – Traditional festival & Snow sled festival

Korean Folk Village has prepared ‘New Year Greeting Bliss Feast.’ This festival includes 3 parts: New year events wishing for full of luck, New year’s energy for great success and New year greetings special with a flow of mirth. You can enjoy the festival from 7th to 22nd of Feb.

The entrance fee is 15,000 KRW and a full package fee is 24,000 KRW which includes riding the snow sled.

Korean folk village opens from 9:30 am to 6 pm. On the weekend it closes at 6:30 pm.

Snow sled opens from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

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2. Jeju Folk Village – Traditional festival

Jeju Island’s folk village will also be holding a traditional festival (18th to 22nd of Feb). It opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm. You can experience making Korean traditional Seollal food like rice cake. You can also play Korean traditional games and ride a kite. Traditional music performances will be performed as well.


3. Hanok Village – Traditional festival

In Namsan Hanok Village, O-daegam Seollal festival will be held from 19th to 21st of Feb. You can make a rice cake and eat the rice cake soup together. Writing a wish list for the new year will be also performed. You can also enjoy traditional music performances.

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4. Resorts – Jaecheon, Yesan, Anmyeondo

Risom resorts have different kinds of events for Seollal. First, from 18th ~ 19th of Feb, they will serve customers a fortune cookie and in the cookies, there will be some hidden presents. Second, in Yesan resort, there are 40% discount on the entrance fee for foreigners but you need to bring your ID and alien card. Third, in Anmyeondo resort, they have traditional game experience event which comes with many kinds of prizes.


5. National Gugak Center – Traditional music performance

From 19th to 20th of Feb at 4 pm, there is a traditional music performance in National Gugak Center to celebrate the Lunar New Year’s Day. All seats are 10,000 KRW and it lasts for 1 h 30 min. Before the performance begins, people can experience various Korean traditional games from 2 pm at the park.


6. Seoul Zoo – Seollal zoo festival

In the Seoul Zoo, you can enjoy the traditional Korean Bongsan masked dance from 18th to 20th of Feb at 1 pm and 3 pm. From 18th to 22nd of Feb, from 12 pm to 5 pm, there are also other traditional games and missions. Enjoy watching the animals along with the traditional dance and games. The entrance fee is 3,000 KRW for the zoo and 2,000 KRW for the theme garden.


7. Burgerking whopper pack discount

Do you like Burgerking? To celebrate Lunar New Year’s Day, Burgerking will offer its Whopper pack at a 33% discounted price (9,900 KRW). This package consists of one whopper burger, one whopper junior burger, 2 cokes (R) and french fries (L). It is until 22nd of Feb so hurry to get a whopper pack!


8. Cheongpyeong – Ice fishing festival

Have you ever fished in an iced river? If you go to Gapyeong, there are many ice fishing festival spots. You can go to any of these festival places. Cheongpyeong Ice fishing place runs until 22nd of Feb from 8 am to 5 pm. And on the 19th (New Year’s Day), it will open at 10 am. The entrance fee is 12,000 KRW. You can also join other programs like raw fish center (3,000 KRW for raw fish), traditional sled (3,000 KRW), 4 tire bike (10,000 KRW).


9. Chuncheon National Museum – Seollal traditional festival

In Chuncheon National Museum, you can experience Korean traditional culture from 14th to 22nd of Feb. It opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm. On 14th of Feb, at 2 pm, there is a play, “Rabbit and Hunter” for the kids. On 18th of Feb, from 11 am, there is a traditional food cooking class. You can also look around the museum for free and also outside of the museum you can participate some traditional games.


10. Everland + Caribbean Bay

Amusement park is always a good place to go for foreign travelers and visitors during the national holidays. There are also discounts for foreigners for Seollal Holiday. Everland and Caribbean Bay offer 50% discount! Click on the image below to download the coupon.


11. Jeongdong Theater – Miso : #1 Korean Traditional Arts Performance

Most of performance theater will be unavailable during the long holidays, but there are some theaters where you can watch performances. We will introduce one of the famous Korean traditional arts performances, Miso.

“MISO : Baebijang-jeon” is motivated by a representative satirical novel Baebijang-jeon. Dazzling spectacles of traditional Korean culture, including traditional dance, instrumental music, “phungmulnori” (a traditional folk musical act featuring a percussion quartet) and “pansori” (a type of traditional narrative vocal music) meld with the Korean folk novel, are sure to enrapture not only Korean audiences but visitors from overseas as well.


12. Gyeongbokgung Palace & Jongmyo

On 19th of Feb, there is a free entrance to Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jongmyo. Normally you should make a reservation on weekdays to visit Jongmyo but you can go freely from 18th to 22nd, Seollal holidays. In Gyeongbokgung, you can experience Ondol, a Korean traditional architecture that involves transferring heat from a stove to an adjoining room. Also, you can try to do ‘Saebae’, bowing to elder people and then they will tell you ‘Deokdam’, New Year’s greetings.

Gyeongbokgung-Gyeonghoeru-02 Jongmyo-Jeongjeon