29 Apr South Korean Culture And Traditions
South Korea, a nation more than 70 years old, is a center for centuries old tradition and modern age advancements. It is a country that is rich with culture and historical landmarks. In fact, South Korea is making its mark on the map as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. In this post we will explore South Korea’s rich history, culture, and traditions.
South Korean Provinces
South Korea, home to over 50 million people, was officially founded in 1948. Since its inception, South Korea has been one of the fastest growing nations in the world. With it’s technological advancements and achievements, it has become a hot spot for tourists.
South Korea consists of 9 provinces. Gangwon Do, Chungbuk Do, Gyeongbuk Do, Jeollabuk Do, Jeju Do, Gyeonggi Do, Chungnam Do, Gyeongnam Do, and Jeollanam Do. There are 7 metropolitan cities in South Korea. The three most popular cities being: Seoul, Busan, and Incheon.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea is known as one of the most advanced cities in the world. As Korean pop culture grows and is exposed to other nations, the amount of tourists visiting South Korea is readily increasing. Over 80% of the tourists that went to South Korea resided in Seoul.
South Korean Culture
South Korean culture was built around Confucian beliefs. Confucianism circles around ancestral beliefs, culture, and nature. All three aspects help to shape Korean society. Hence, South Koreans are very respectful towards their elders, and officials; they have shaped their society around cultural and traditional beliefs.
Due to Confucius teachings, South Koreans are tolerant to all religions. Buddhists, Christians, and even Muslims make up the Korean population. Being fair and kind hearted is part of their culture and beliefs which is why you’ll find most South Koreans to be overwhelmingly helpful and kind.
Respect is one of the main aspects of Korean culture. Respect towards your elders is absolutely essential. In the same fashion, respect must be given to those with authoritarian positions. Examples of people with authority would include: teachers, doctors, police officers, etc. Without respect, the core values of Korean culture would cease to exist. Indeed, kindness, understanding, good heartedness and courteousness are all products of respect.
South Korean Traditions And Holidays
South Koreans follows both the Gregorian calendar as well as the Lunar calendar. This means they have two new years celebrations. One for each calendar. The traditional new year on December 31st, and the lunar new year which occurs on the second new moon following the winter solstice.
During this time Koreans have a three day celebration. One the day before new years, one the day of and another the day after. Over the three days Koreans follow traditional services, including dressing in Hanbok the cultural garb of Korea; eating traditional food, and visiting family members both alive and deceased.
Some of South Korea’s most popular celebrations are Valentine’s day, White day, and Black day. However, Valentines day in South Korea differs from that of the western world. In South Korea it is a day where females will give chocolates and gifts to males they admire. Only females participate in Valentine’s day whereas in western society both males and females take part in this celebration.
In return on White day males will give chocolates to females as a return favor. In fact, South Korea being a considerate nation has created a third holiday for those who do not have a significant other to celebrate Valentines or white day with.
Black day is a day for singles to celebrate themselves. They will gather with friends and eat black bean noodles, hence naming the holiday black day. Participants will have an enjoyable time with their friends while celebrating their single status.
South Korea is a nation that has well preserved it’s historical sights. Moreover, with over 30 historical landmarks and sights to visit, South Korea is one of the countries in the world with the largest collection of historical and religious sights to see.
Some of the most popular sights include:
Changdeokgung Palace is 600 years of age and Seoul’s crowning jewel. With a vast expansion of gardens to visit, Changdeokgung Palace is one of the most desired places to go to when visiting South Korea. Along with tours of the grounds, there are tours of the gardens and the palace itself.
Built in 1395, the Gwanghwamun Gate resides in Seoul. Created to serve as the main entrance to the Kyongbuk Palace this 623 year old architectural achievement represents the traditional architectural style of Korea. The gate now contains steel and concrete in order to help it stand tall against harsh weather conditions.
Gwanghwamun Gate. Image Courtesy of the TravelBlog.
Jongmyu Shrine serves as the ancestral shrine for the Choson Kings and was built in the 16th century. Also residing in Seoul, the Jongmyu Shrine is known for its homage to the past. While there, you will feel as if you have stepped into the past, when life was easy and times were simpler. Visiting the shrine is like a breath of fresh air, it helps one to relax and forget all their worries even if only for a moment.
When visiting Seoul during a limited time trip these historical sights are a must. For an in depth look as to which places to visit when in Seoul, please see the video below.
Traditional South Korean Food
South Korean cuisine circles around traditional dishes. Indeed, even modern restaurants in Korea make sure to incorporate traditional dishes into their menu. Some of the traditional dishes of Korea include:
Kimchi is a traditional side dish in Korea. Indeed, consisting of fermented and salted vegetables, Kimchi is often served with every meal. A fun fact about Kimchi is that it is actually very healthy seeing as it is loaded with Vitamins A, B and C. Another factor which makes Kimchi greatly beneficial for ones health is that it contains lactobacilli, a healthy bacteria, commonly found in fermented dishes.
Bibimbap serves as a comfort dish in South Korea. Consisting of cooked rice and beef with an assortment of vegetables, Bibimbap is a wholesome meal. Much like pizza, Bibimbap has a set base but the toppings are completely in your control. This allows Bibimbap to be a versatile dish.
Bulgogi is a dish served mostly during celebratory events such as birthdays, and national holidays. Bulgogi is simply a dish consisting of marinated beef. However, the price of beef is quite high in South Korea which is why it is a dish saved for special occasions.
Ddukbokkie also known as Tteokbokki is spicy rice cake. A very common street food in South Korea, Ddukbokkie consists of cylinder shaped rice cakes and spicy sauce. Sometimes served wish fish cake or sausage Ddukbokkie is a traditional Korean dish that anyone can make at home.
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At Seoul Cosmetic Surgery we include guided tours and shopping trips as a part of your plan. We want you to experience South Korea to its fullest while on your cosmetic surgery journey. Come with us and take a walk through Changdokgung’s vast gardens or taste the savory street foods scattered across the streets of Seoul. To book a consultation please email us at email@example.com. Moreover, we look forward to guiding you through the historic streets of South Korea.
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