The Lunar, and Solar calendar are used in the Korean society of today in every aspect of their lives. The Korean tradition of the old society used the Lunar calendar to direct their way of life, as the world enter into Korea, the Korean people adapted to the Solar as well. The Korean people still use the Lunar calendar to keep track of births, death, and traditional holidays. Many Koreans today do celebrate their birthdays with both calendars Lunar, and Solar, and the days of each calendar are National holidays.
SOLAR Korean Calendar Holidays:
- NEW YEAR'S DAY (Shin-jeong/Seol-lal) - January 1st - 2nd.
Korean's celebrate both the Solar New Year, and the Lunar New Year with the addition to January 1st, and the 2nd is also a holiday for them. The first day back at work after the holiday is usually of speeches looking forward to the coming business year.
- INDEPENDENCE DAY MOVEMENT (Sam-il-jeol) - March 1st.
On the day of March 1st, 1919 marked the beginning of the Korean Independence Movement. On this day, independence fighters announced Korea's declaration of independence from Japanese colonialism, as a response the Japanese police, and military forces killed, and injured thousands of unarmed Korean protesters.
- ARBOR DAY (Shing-mo-gil) - April 5th.
With the devastation, and de-forestation resulting from the Korean War, the Korean Government designated April 5th as Arbor Day, and made this a time for all Korean Citizens to plant trees, and other plants. Many decades later, the forest have returned. Still today, citizens still plant trees, flowers, and clean up the surrounding hilltops, and mountain areas, and the day serves as a reminder to respect nature, and the environment.
- CHILDREN'S DAY (E0-rin-i-nal) - May 5th.
On May 5th which represents a day of celebration for children, both young, and old. All amusement parks, zoos, and National parks around Korea become crowded with families enjoying the holidays in the Spring weather.
- MEMORIAL DAY (Hyeon-ch'ung-il) - June 6th.
The month of June denotes the day set aside for citizens to remember those died for their country. That all civilians, and soldiers alike are honored in ceremonies held throughout Korea, especially at Seoul's National Cemetery.
- CONSTITUTION DAY (Che-heon-jeol) - July 17th.
On July 17th marks the day in 1948 when the Republic of Korea's Constitution was proclaiming a day of celebrations, and memorials the recognizes the cornerstone of the New Republic of Korea.
- LIBERATION DAY (Kwang-bok-jjeol) - August 15th.
With the official surrender of Japan to the Allied Forces on August 15, 1945, the colonization of Korea by the Japanese came to an end. On August 15, 1948 marks the establishment of the Republic of Korea.
- ARMED FORCES DAY (Kuk-kkun-eui nal) - October 1st.
This holiday is celebrated with colorful parades, and military ceremonies throughout South Korea.
- NATIONAL FOUNDATION DAY (Kae-ch'eon-jeol) - October 3rd.
According to a Korean legend, the God-King Tan-Gun founded the Choson Kingdom in 2333 B.C. This day is filled with citizen's Nationalistic pride over the 4,000 plus year history of Korea.
- HAN-GUL DAY (Han-geul-lal) - October 9th.
This day is a National holiday for the Korean people celebrating the anniversary the Korean Han-gul Alphabet.
- CHRISTMAS DAY (Seong-t'an-jeol/K'eu-ri-seu-ma-seu-nal) - December 25th.
Not commercialized as Christmas as in North America, the large number of Korean Christmas ensures that this is a time for celebration throughout Korea. More, and more businesses in Korea are putting up Christmas decorations, and selling Western style Christmas cards. With the proximity to the end of year, many Koreans prefer to give New Year gifts at this time.
LUNAR Korean Calendar Holidays:
- NEW YEAR (Ku-jeong/Seol-lal) - 1st day of the 1st month plus the day before, and after.
Koreans do celebrate both the Solar New Year, and the Lunar New Year. The day before, and after the first day of the first New Moon are also holidays, for a total of three days off. During this period the highways in Korea are jammed with families visiting their hometowns, and praying with respect at the ancestral graves throughout the country.
- BUDDHA'S BIRTHDAY (Sa-weol Ch'o-p'a-il) - 8th day of the 4th month.
This celebration for Buddha's birthday occurs on the 8th day of the 4th Lunar month (usually falling in May). Buddhist monks spruce up their temples, and hang colorful lanterns outside the temples. Many of the larger temples hold festivals, and parades.
- HARVEST MOON FESTIVAL (Chu-seok) - 14-16 days of the 8th month.
The full Harvest Moon Festival occurs on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month, and is very similar to the American Thanksgiving. The day before the 14th, and the 16th of the Lunar month are also holidays, giving a total of three days off to allow the Korean people time to visit their hometowns. The most important of all Korean holidays, during this holiday people crowd the highways to visit their hometowns, and family members. This is similar to the Lunar New Year holidays where family members pay respect to their living relatives, and visit the graves of their ancestors, the family members would exchange gifts, and play special games.
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