Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lunar New Year

Well, we've had two weeks back at school, so it's about time for another break, right? Of course, those of you back in the Seattle area have all had a nice long break with the snow, but we have not been so lucky. No snow at all in the last week or two, so we needed a different excuse. It warmed up enough to rain one day last week, getting up to about 40 degrees. But it's back down to 10 F today. It literally dropped 30 degrees overnight!

a traditional hanok
This weekend we have a four day weekend for the Lunar New Year or Seollal (살릴). Seollal is probably the biggest holiday in Korea and another one of those holidays where the Koreans escape the city and travel back to their homes and families in the countryside. Seollal is like a birthday of sorts in Korea. A Korean turns one on their first Seollal (technically after they eat their tteokguk or rice cake soup), so Kennedy wouldn't have technically turned 5 until after this weekend if she were Korean. Interesting, huh? You can read more about Seollal here.

Hanboks are traditional clothing for Seollal
We had decided that since we didn't make it down to Busan over Christmas break, we would try for the four day weekend. I started looking for a hotel down there and realized quickly that everything is booked. Shortly thereafter, I realized that the trains are going to be packed this weekend and Busan will be busier than normal, so we're back to staying here in the city. Another weekend of awful traffic and travel outside the city, but a "ghost town" here in Seoul. You might remember, that over Chuseok we were excited to experience that emptiness and were a bit disappointed to not see a big difference. So far, I can't say that I've seen a big difference.
Yes, you might recognize these pictures from the Chuseok Weekend album. No, we have not ventured out in the 10 degree weather to do anything tourist-y. I'm not sure if we'll get motivated to do anything in the next 2 days!

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