Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, but how about in Korea? If you live in Korea or have Korean friends you may be wondering things like ‘Do Koreans celebrate Christmas?‘ and ‘How do you say Merry Christmas in Korean?‘. Below, we will answer these questions and some more frequently asked questions about Christmas in Korea so you can find out what Christmas is really like in South Korea. The answers may surprise you!
Is Christmas Celebrated In South Korea?
Christmas is celebrated in South Korea, but not in the same way as it is in other parts of the world. South Koreans don’t typically visit their family on Christmas day and don’t usually eat a Christmas meal and exchange gifts like in other countries. However, like other countries, you can see lots of Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, and hear Christmas songs in stores, cafes, and restaurants.
Is Christmas A Holiday In South Korea?
Christmas in Korea is a national holiday and so on the 25th of December each year, schools, banks, government offices, and big supermarkets are typically closed. However, many places remain open such as restaurants, coffee shops, and convenience stores on Christmas day.
How To Say Merry Christmas In Korean
If you’re spending Christmas in Korea, you may want to know how to greet people at Christmas. There are many ways to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean. Check out this useful video from Korean Arah to learn 10 different ways to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Korean.
Do Koreans Exchange Gifts At Christmas?
Exchanging gifts at Christmas is not a big tradition like it is in other countries. If South Koreans do exchange gifts, they usually do so on Christmas eve and often give money or just one small gift. This is another way in which Christmas in Korea is different from western countries.
What Food Do Koreans Eat At Christmas?
Christmas food in Korea is different from the traditional Christmas food that people in western countries typically eat at Christmas, such as turkey, stuffing, parsnips, etc. Christmas food is not typically eaten in South Korea at Christmas time, and in fact, it can be very difficult to find these foods in Korea at Christmas.
In South Korea, Koreans don’t typically visit their families for a Christmas meal, but if they do, they are much more likely to eat food that you would see at Chuseok or Seollal, such as rice cakes (떡), Jeon (전), bulgogi (불고기), etc.
Is Christmas A family Holiday In South Korea?
In many parts of the world, Christmas is a time to get together with family, eat a delicious meal, and exchange gifts. However, in South Korea, Christmas is not a big family holiday like Chuseok or Seollal. Instead, Christmas is more of a ‘couples day’ like valentines day is in other countries. So, on Christmas day, rather than spending time with family, Koreans would often spend this time with their partner and visit places to see beautiful Christmas lights and decorations.
What Are Some Christmas Traditions In South Korea?
Christmas traditions in Korea typically involve Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and decorations. In many tourists areas, such as Lotte World and Myeongdong in Seoul, or Nampo and Haeundae in Busan, you will see huge Christmas trees and beautiful Christmas light festivals. Other Christmas traditions in Korea are usually done by Christian families such as attending mass or visiting a church on Christmas eve or Christmas day.
Do Koreans Give Christmas Cards?
Like exchanging gifts, during Christmas in Korea, giving Christmas cards in Korea is not a big thing like it is in other countries. In fact, it can be difficult to find Christmas cards in stores in South Korea.
As you can see, there are many differences between the Christmas celebrations and traditions in South Korea compared to other countries. Christmas is more of a ‘couples day’ and a time to spend time with a special someone and enjoy Christmas lights and decorations. Before you go, check out these 10 Christmas Greetings In Korean to learn how to greet people and say ‘Happy Christmas’ in Korean.