New Year's Day (January 1)
People exchange New Year's greetings and cards. It is not considered as important as the lunar New Year's Day since it is not a traditional holiday.
Lunar New Year's Day (Lunar January 1)
This most significant holiday of the year lasts for three days. People wear traditional dress and after first paying tribute first to their ancestors before breakfast, and wish their relatives and everyone they meet good luck in the new year. On this day, rice cake soup is served for breakfast after which families gather and play various traditional games.
Independence Movement Day (March 1)
It celebrates the independence movement which occurred in 1919 against the Japanese colonial rule.
Buddha's Birthday (Lunar April 8)
This day celebrates the birth of Buddha. On the eve, a street parade with multi-colored lanterns is held while bright lanterns are lit in all the temples.
Children's Day (May 5)
This is the happiest day for children as they are filled with hope and dreams and enjoy receiving gifts.
Memorial Day (June 6)
This day pays tribute to and remembers those who sacrificed their lives for the country.
Liberation Day (August 15)
This day celebrates Korea's liberation from Japanese rule which lasted 36 years. Many events take place throughout the country including parades and fireworks.
Chuseok - Korean Thanksgiving Day (Lunar August 15)
Together with the lunar New Year's Day, Chuseok is one of the most important traditional holidays, and is also celebrated for three days. Traffic congestion should be expected on all the highways since everyone heads for their hometowns with gifts for their parents. On the other hand, Seoul is drained of its population, just as it is during the lunar New Year's holidays.
National Foundation Day (October 3)
This is the day when Tangun founded this country in 2333 BC.
Christmas (December 25)
As in other countries of the world, the birth of Christ is celebrated on this day and people exchange cards and gifts.