Korean Christmas Fast Facts
2015 flew by so fast that we are now in the month of December. And this only means one thing – Christmas is coming! We’re now smiling from ear to ear because it’s that time of the year again when we bask in the spirit of holiday cheer. I don’t know about you guys, but we at Korean BBQ Online believe that Christmas is hands-down one of the best holidays of the year. Seriously, who are we to complain about the free gifts and seemingly endless merrymaking?
But have you ever wondered how it must be like to celebrate Christmas in Korea? Do you think they also practice the same Christmas traditions that we do here? And do they also believe in Santa Claus?
I know we piqued your curiosity right there, so don’t worry – we already did some basic researching for you. Here’s Korean Christmas 101 for you all:
Christianity is a major religion
There’s a significant number of Korean Christians, and the religion itself is constantly spreading in Korea. This explains why Christmas is considered a national holiday in Korea even though Buddhism is the religion of most Koreans.
Korean Christmas Traditions
Yes, Koreans also do the usual gift exchanges and decorate their houses with bells, lights and trees during the Christmas season. The way they observe these practices, however, is a bit more toned down than what the Westerners are used to as Christmas in Korea is more of a religious holiday. There’s also a growing number of Koreans who just give money as a gift instead of buying an actual gift. Not too bad!
Santa Claus? More like Santa Harabeojee!
I know you’ve asked this question, so here’s the answer: Koreans do have their own version of Santa Claus, which they call as Santa Harabeojee. And just like the doting Santa that we all know, the Korean Santa also gives candies and other lovely presents to everyone. But don’t be surprised if you see a Santa Harabeojee donning an attire in blue and not the typical red!
Food, we want food!
Koreans are big food lovers, so it is already expected to see families gathering together during this holiday to share a good meal. Either they eat at the comfort of their own homes or they go out for a change to try new restaurants. Nothing really beats celebrating Christmas in Korea than surrounding yourself with loved ones, enjoying some good food, and exchanging stories at the dinner table.
Kpop music ruling the airwaves
In addition to the usual Christmas carols and jingles that are being played over and over again during the Christmas season, Koreans are also big on listening to Kpop music during the holidays. Kpop music is now invading the global airwaves all because of its trendy and catchy beats that are just perfect to celebrate the holiday spirit.
Discounts, promos, sales, bazaars!
There are still some things that remain the same regardless of where you are in the world, so I guess this is pretty much self-explanatory. It’s the holiday season, which means that it’s time for most Koreans to splurge a little bit on some gift-shopping and sale hunting!
Have you actually celebrated Christmas in Korea? And how do you celebrate Christmas in your family? We would love to know all of your Christmas traditions and practices by posting them in the comments section below.
Meri Keuriseumaseu! (Merry Christmas!)