South Korea: Holidays                                             

January 1: New Year's Day

  • A celebration of the first day of the new year on the Gregorian calendar

January 27-29 (30 is a substitute holiday): Seollal

  • Lunar New Year’s Day is an important holiday in South Korea. People play traditional games, fly kites and spin tops.

March 1: Independence Movement Day

  • South Koreans celebrate the declaration of independence from Japan that was proclaimed on March first in 1919.

8th day of the 4th lunar month (date varies): Buddha's Birthday

  • Lanterns are hung in temples and solemn rituals are held.

May 5: Children's Day

  • Children dress up and get a special day to go out to the park, zoo or amusement park.

June 6: Memorial Day

  • A day to honor people who lost their lives for their country.

August 15: Liberation Day

  • A day to commemorate the Japanese acceptance of the terms of surrender that led to Korea’s liberation in 1945.

October 3: National Foundation Day

  • This day commemorates the founding of the Korean nation in 2333 BC by the God-king Dangun.

15th day of the 8th lunar month (date varies): Chuseok

  • Korean Thanksgiving Day is a celebration of the harvest.

October 9: Hangeul Day

  • Korean Alphabet Day is a day to commemorate the creation of Hangeul in 1446.

December 25: Christmas Day

  • The Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. Christmas is an official holiday in South Korea. Almost one-third of South Koreans are Christian. Santa Claus may wear a blue, rather than red, suit in South Korea. He is also known as Santa Kulloso (Grandfather Santa).