Thursday, January 26, 2017

Everything Korea: a Lunar New Year Culture Alert

The Year of the Red Rooster: industrious, outspoken, sharp-witted, and extravagant

Korea (as well as China, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and other Asian countries) celebrate two New Year’s-- one on Jan. 1 and the Lunar New Year celebration, which this year falls on January 28 of the Gregorian calendar, with the legal holiday in Korea from January 27 to January 30.

This year, 2017, is referred to as Jeongyunyeon (‘Jeong-‘ means ‘red’ and ‘-yu’ means a rooster) or “The Year of The Red (fire) Rooster.

Each lunar new year has an associated animal, as well as a related element like fire (red), water (black), earth (yellow), metal (white) and wood (blue), all which rotate over a 60-year cycle. Hence, Red (Fire) Rooster, or Black (Water) Snake, White (Metal) Dragon, etc.

It’s a great time to re-connect with Korean teams and friends. For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them “Happy Lunar New Year” by phone, text, or email, by EOD on Wednesday, January 25 (so, Thursday AM in Korea, which is their last day in office prior to Holiday).

BTW Korean companies have Monday off, too.

For expat Koreans (as well as and ethnic Asians from China, Vietnam, and Laos) in your local operations, you can wish then Happy Lunar New Year on Friday, January 27 EOD before the holiday.

For Koreans, here is the formal greeting--Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo.

You may recall we use the same greeting for the Holidays and New Years… ☺

Give it a try. You will find it will be greatly appreciated.

Questions, comments, thoughts?

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