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A lighter note today as it’s New Year’s Eve - December 31st - in South Korea right now.
The country and much of the world is preparing to see in 2022 either with their family or with friends.
However, in light of the pandemic, the related lockdowns and restrictions and well as the health impact of COVID-19, 2021 was much like the previous year in many respects, but we shouldn’t be too pessimistic as, for at least one night, we can hope a brighter chapter will open up for us.
The ways societies mark the changing of the year is as different as the numerous cultures around the world, with some preferring rowdy get-togethers, others quiet reflection.
In South Korea there's a mixture of the two, revelers looking for a big night out and those who prefer to watch the ringing of the Bosingak Bell in Seoul or heading to Korea’s east coast to see the first sunrise of the year.
For more on how New Year’s traditions differ around the world and how we can still enjoy the occasion despite the pandemic, we are joined by Natalie Compton, a travel reporter for the Washington Post.
Natalie, thanks for coming on and Happy New Year to you.
For 99 percent of us, international travel is something we can’t indulge in this New Year’s because of the pandemic , but what are some of the unique ways different cultures traditionally mark the New Year?
Considering we can’t go to any of those places, you wrote in an article for the Washington Post on ways we can recreate different experiences at home. Of the ones you wrote about, which are your favorites? And for someone looking to switch things up last minute, any quick and simple ones we can try tonight?
Depending on who you speak with, the New Year isn’t limited to January 1st. Koreans mark two New Year holidays, January First and Lunar New Year, or Seollal, which falls in February next year. Outside those two, what other New year celebrations are common around the world?
Finally, due to COVID, many people will have no choice but to see in the New Year at home, perhaps with some friends. Do you have any tips on how to make our own New Year’s Eve party fun, simple and manageable, but all while giving it that international flare?
Well, Natalie, unfortunately we are out of time. Thanks for the tips. Happy New Year and have a great 2022