Korean New Years


Dahbin is a Korean man from Portland, Oregon whose parents are, as he puts it, “extremely conservative Koreans who take traditions weirdly and annoyingly seriously.”

Original Script:

Dahbin: “So New Years Day is, like, a pretty big deal in Korea, and on that day everyone wears, like, a super traditional outfit, with, like, you know, the long coats or whatever (laughs). Then you go to your elders and bow to them and say, ‘I wish you a good year of wealth and for you to, like, prosper’ (laughs). Then they give you a bunch of money that’s comparable to, like, Christmas and your birthday put together. I think this day is such a big deal because, like, Korea used to be super poor, and so surviving to the next year was, like, a pretty big thing.”


Every New Year.

My Thoughts:

I find it significant how one could view Korean New Years as a holiday that is for both elders and children, for the elders receive the respect that they demand out of their children while the children also get a monetary reward. In the U.S. it seems like most holidays are purely for the joy of children other than Mother’s and Father’s Day because it seems like many holidays are excuses for kids to receive presents. Korean New Years seems to have found a way to even this playing field out so that the elders also get something they long for.