Public holidays in South KoreaDespite the historical relations with China, the Gregorian calendar prevails in South Korea. However, the Chinese lunar calendar has not completely lost its influence. The most important events in the Korean year are Seollal and Chuseok and are always calculated according to the lunar calendar, although Seollal has a different cultural background than in China.
With about one third, the Christians in the country also have a considerable share, which is why Christmas is also one of the public holidays. Buddhists also make up about a quarter of the country's population. Thus, Buddha's birthday was also included as a public holiday.
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Non-movable holidaysNon-statutory holidays are written in gray.
|Jan. 1st||New Year’s Day|
|March 1st||Independence Movement Day|
|April 5th||Arbor Day|
|May 1st||Labour Day|
|May 5th||Children's day|
|May 8th||Parents' Day|
|May 15th||Teacher's Day|
|June 6th||Memorial Day|
|July 17th||Constitution Day|
|Aug. 15th||Liberation Day|
|Oct. 1st||Armed Forces Day|
|Oct. 3rd||National Foundation Day|
|Oct. 9th||Hangeul Day|
|Dec. 25th||Christmas Day|
Moving Holidays in South Korea
|Seollal (Last day of old year)||Jan. 31st||Jan. 21st||Feb. 9th||Jan. 28th||Feb. 16th|
|Seollal (New Year's Day)||Feb. 1st||Jan. 22nd||Feb. 10th||Jan. 29th||Feb. 17th|
|Seollal (Second day of New Year)||Feb. 2nd||Jan. 23rd||Feb. 11th||Jan. 30th||Feb. 18th|
|Buddha's Birthday||May 8th||May 26th||May 15th||May 5th||May 24th|
|Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)||Sept. 10th||Sept. 29th||Sept. 17th||Oct. 6th||Sept. 25th|
Seollal - the Chinese New YearSeollal is the 3-day New Year festival based on the lunar calendar. Nationwide it is much more important than the turn of the year based on the Gregorian calendar. Seollal is a predominantly traditional festival, which is celebrated in the circle of the family. On all 3 days you wear the fine wardrobe, honour your parents and grandparents and spend time with your children. A traditional meal on the first day of New Year is often "Tteokguk", a soup with rice cake.
Chuseok - the harvest festivalChuseok is also calculated according to the lunar calendar and takes place on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Usually in September or October. Since the 15th day of a lunar month is always a full moon day, the day is sometimes also called Hangawi, and thus moon festival. The actual translation of the word Chuseok is "autumn evening", Hangawi means "great middle".
On these 3 days lasting celebrations mainly the older family members and also already deceased ancestors are celebrated and honoured. Usually this is done in the house of the head of the family, usually the grandparents. It is accompanied by traffic jams throughout the country when whole families travel to the provinces.