Learn About Seollal and Korean New Year Traditions

How many bowls of Tteokguk will you be eating this year?

How many bowls of Tteokguk will you be eating this year?

Seollal, or Korean Lunar New Year, is a very special holiday for Korean families, and in 2017 it happens to land on January 28th. Seollal is the most popularly celebrated holiday in South Korea, and it marks the passage into the new year along with an opportunity for families to catch up with one another pay respects to their ancestors. And most importantly, to feast!

Korean New Year Dishes

Food is perhaps one of the most exciting parts of Seollal. New Year’s feasts consist of a variety of dishes with a couple essentials. Tteokguk, or rice cake soup, is the most notable of which. This dish is symbolic of growing a year older and preserving one’s good health and long life. People will often ask, “How many bowls of tteokguk have you eaten?” on New Years as a fun way to guess someone’s age and joke about how many more bowls they’ll eat.

Seollal feasts often feature several types of jeon, a popular pancake dish. Some of these dishes include buchujeon (garlic and chive), kimchi jeon, and saengseon jeon (fish). Another popular meat dish served on special occasions like Seollal is Galbij jim — beef short ribs braised in a delicious sweet and salty sauce with carrots and potatoes.

Korean New Year Desserts

The tasty new year doesn’t end at dinner in Korea, there are also many delectable desserts! Su-jeong-gwa, for example, is a traditional fruit punch that’s made with persimmons, cinnamon and ginger. It is usually garnished with pine nuts. Sikhye is a drink that’s consumed after the feast to help aid in digestion. It’s a sweet beverage made from malt barley, malt powder, and rice. One of Korea’s favorite confections is Taraegwa, a twisted ribbon-shaped candy made from wheat flour and flavored with cinnamon, ginger, rice syrup and pine nuts. And finally, Yaksik is a nutritious and sweet rice bar with nuts and Korean dates. It’s thought of as a “medicinal” food that will help you start off the new year in good health and spirit.

Asian Groceries from Lotte Plaza Market

Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.


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