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Thursday, June 20, 2024

South Korean Places Where You Can Indulge This Lunar New Year

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Visitors can pound rice cakes at Namsangol Hanok Village. [JoongAng Ilbo]
Visitors can pound rice cakes at Namsangol Hanok Village. [JoongAng Ilbo]
If you want to indulge, this Lunar New Year, you may want to explore these Seoul hot-spots, which are both traditional and contemporary. Many Seoul residents leave town to be with family in the country, so visiting these destinations will be easier to do. They will also be filled with visitors and residents alike who really want to enjoy Seollal. While most businesses are closed during the holiday, fortunately, these sites are open on the Korean New Year.

– N Seoul Tower, 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, observatory admission ₩9,000: You can either take the cable-car or take a brisk walk up the hill among the beautiful trees and flowers that line the path to N Seoul Tower. Here, you can make wishes for your loved ones at the highest point in Seoul. If you’ve already done this, go to Namsan Park early in the morning to see the sun rise for the new year. Dress warmly, as sunrise this year is at 7:16 a.m.

– Namsangol Hanok Village, 28, Toegye-ro 37-gil, Jung-gu, free admission: You can learn how to make Tteok (traditional Korean rice cakes) and eat it in Tteok-guk (rice cake soup), too! You can also write your wishes for the new year and hang them in the courtyard next to everyone else’s hopeful dreams. Check out the fortune-telling so you can be ready for whatever awaits you in the new year, and make good-luck charms in case it’s not too good!  Don’t miss out on the many musical and cultural dance performances at the outside theater, either!

– National Folk Museum of Korea, 37, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu (inside Gyeongbokgung Palace), palace admission ₩3,000: Learn folk games like Yutnori, make traditional artifacts, and explore the museum. Once you’ve exhausted all the activities at the museum, wander the palace as if you are experiencing Seollal in the past. Make a kite to fly on the spot, try Saebae (bowing to your elders), and marvel at the gorgeous, colorful architecture. Admission is free on [Jan. or Feb. 19], so plan accordingly.

By Nicole Destura