The Lunar New Year holiday is one of the most celebrated times of the year in Korea, and about 1-hundred-50 expats had a special chance to kick off the festivities in advance.
They took part in various traditional holiday traditions, from wearing the traditional Korean clothing hanbok to learning how to properly perform a New Year's bow to elders.
"It was especially difficult to sit with just one hand and balance my body. It was also difficult to stand up, but it was fun."
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An ancestral worship ceremony that Koreans typically perform on Lunar New Year Day was demonstrated, as well as traditional Korean outdoor games like "jegichagi" and "tuho."
"We don't have our families here, but we have the opportunity to enjoy with friends and learn everything about Korean."
"It was nice to participate in New Year's bows and the many traditional Korean games with Koreans. It just felt like a family."
The Seoul Global Center invited the expats to share in the fun and joy of the holiday as they will be away from their families during this holiday season.
"Lunar New Year is the time when expats feel homesick the most. I think it's great that Seoul offers so many programs for foreigners, so that they can experience traditional Korean culture."
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Participants also shared a meal of "ddeokguk," or rick-cake soup, that Koreans traditionally eat on Lunar New Year morning.
"And this event is just one of the many festive activities organized by the Seoul city government in celebration of the Lunar New Year holiday."
Royal palaces will be open for free on Lunar New Year's Day, and many traditional cultural performances will be offered for free at more than 20 museums, parks and traditional theaters in Seoul, during the holiday season that runs until the end of this week.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.