The 2006 Lunar New Year’s celebration (Seol) is this
weekend Jan. 28-Jan. 30. This is the year of the Dog.
Along with Chusok (the fall harvest festival), Seol is
the most important of traditional Korean holidays.
(see my article below).
In Korea, Seol is a day of family activities including
showing respect to elders and ancestors. Most Korean
businesses are also closed for the holiday as millions
of Koreans travel to join their families.
In America, it’s a great opportunity for Westerners to
wish their Korean
colleagues “ Sae hae bok mani bah deu say oh “ (
“Happy Lunar New Year.”)
Hint: I'll break down the pronunciation:
“Sae hae bok—mah ne—bah deu say oh! Which means,
"Please receive many New
Here is an article in Korea Times on Korean holiday
travel 2006...with a comment or two from me...
More than 30 million people will travel the country
around the Jan. 28-30 Lunar New Year holiday, visiting
their hometowns or taking vacations. [South Korea has
a population of 48 million, so as you can see that
60% of the country will travel.]
Traffic congestion is also expected, as many people
living in Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area visit
their family in hometowns in the provinces.
As the holiday period is shorter than in past years,
travelers will suffer worsened traffic conditions.
The total number of people who will move to other
regions from Jan. 27 to 31 will exceed 30 million,
about 5 percent up from 2005, according to the
Construction and Transportation Ministry yesterday.
The number of cars to use expressways is estimated at
14.9 million, an increase of some 4 percent from last
year. [70% of those cars are Hyundai and Kia.]
According to the survey of the ministry, about half of
the respondents will head for their hometowns on
Saturday, the first day of the holiday, and return to
Seoul on Monday, the last day.
[This means they will be out of the office on Friday
It will take more than nine hours between Seoul and
Pusan by car, six hours between Seoul and Taejon, and
eight and a half hours between Seoul and Kwangju, the
The ministry, the National Police Agency, the Korea
Railroad, the Korea Highway Corporation, and local
governments have prepared measures to increase public
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