Learn about Seollal

We couldn’t leave out Korea in our study on the Lunar New Year!

Koreans celebrate two New Year celebrations – Sinjeong 신정 is the solar new year on January 1st. Then they celebrate again on the lunar near year, called Seollal 설날.

This holiday is all about family – the roads next week will be packed with people travelling to their hometowns (or people coming to Seoul). Some people only celebrate the New Years eve and day while others spend the whole 15 days – until the first full moon of the month – with family.

Businesses and restaurants will be closed, much like Thanksgiving and Christmas day in the states. And there will be an abundance of Spam gift sets given!

Learn about Seollal {Korean New Year}

Korean language cards

We watched videos from Asia Society and Professor Oh (she is so funny!) about the holiday, and read about it at several websites.

The kids have seen a lot of people dressed in traditional hanbok since we walk right by three wedding halls on our way to church each Sunday. They are also familiar with the tradition of bowing and leaving food out for ancestors.

kids playing yutnori

I created a printable board game with simplified rules so the kids and I could play yutnori  윷놀이- a very fun game where you get to throw sticks in the air!

And we learned how to say “may you receive many blessings in the new year” in hangugeo (Korean).

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Saehae bok manhi badeusaeyo

(literally “new year luck/blessings many please receive”)

The kids having a bit of fun (and me trying to help you pronounce the syllables):


Activities and printables for Seollal

Korean New Year Notebooking

Unlike Japan and China, there just aren’t many resources for homeschoolers to learn about South Korea. We are on a mission to change that – starting with this little printable pack that the girls helped me create for Seollal. It was made in a hurry, so it’s nothing fancy. But it includes a few notebooking pages, a craft, and a game to play.

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Included in the pack:

  • Spelling Seollal in hangul
  • Hanbok notebooking page
  • Make a greeting card
  • Saying Happy New Year notebooking page
  • Sam taeguk – Korean fan craft
  • Yutnori game board and instructions

seollal crafts

We printed out language cards, made a fan, folded origami hanbok, and colored some pictures to go along with our study.

origami hanbok

If you are thinking that it looks like that hanbok is on a Christmas tree, you might be right. Gus would not let us take down the tree. It was one of his favorite things to admire during the day. So we convinced him to let us turn it into a Seollal tree.

seollal tree

Looks pretty festive – no? There’s nothing like meshing together cultures, holidays, and traditions.

We are pretty excited for our first Seollal! I hope to find out where some festivities will be happening, or at least go to a park where families will be gathered. I’m a little concerned about traffic so we might just stick to locations within walking distance.

If you would like to read more about Korea, here are some of our other adventures:

Wherever you are on Friday, January 31st – 

새해 복 많이 받으세요. Have a blessed new year.

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5 Responses to Learn About Seollal! {Korean Lunar New Year}

  1. Cailin says:

    Oh this is wonderful! My kids will be so excited about celebrating Seollal! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kristen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. We are moving to Korea this summer. We homeschool too and the kids are really curious about Korea- we’ve never lived overseas before. Thanks for sharing

  3. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much! My daughter made (is making but took a break for awhile) a notebook about Korea, and this will be so wonderful to add to it!

  4. Sarah says:

    We love learning about Korea. Thanks so much for putting together a packet for kids to do! This is great!

  5. […] In addition to preparing for the Seollal for my family, I also included some activities for my students ( I may not have mentioned that away from the internet, where I am free to use bad language, bad grammar and incorrect sentence structure, I am a teacher to a class of eccentric and often unpredictable kindergarteners and first graders… see why I drink now). I found a printable package that included a game that is normally played during Seollal, Yut nori, a game I was badly schooled by my 6-year-old student. The package can be found @These Temporary Tents […]

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