For all my Vinglers who share my dream of one day living in Korea. Here's what to expect during the holiday season in Korea!!
Christmas Can Be Like Any Other Holiday
Christmas is a very exciting occasion for many Korean people; or for some, can be the saddest holiday of the year because there can be no significant person to share the holiday spirit with. If you know anything about the non-traditional holidays in Korea, you’ve probably heard that romance is a big part of it. Some include: Valentine’s Day, White Day, and Pepero Day. In a very pop culture country where romance and love is heavily emphasized, it would make that sense that Christmas would also be equally romanticized for the people that don’t really celebrate the true meaning behind Christmas. The beautiful lights, handing out gifts, and the frigidly cold weather – it’s just perfect for snuggling up with loved ones.
The Land Of The Couples
Although it can be viewed as a couple’s holiday for many people, you as a single person can still find the traditional Christmas decorations and holiday spirit all over the Korean peninsula quite fascinating. However, if your lonely soul cannot endure such pains, the easiest solution to dodge all the ‘couple’ nonsense would be to find someone of your own. There are people who are still trying to hook up their single friends so that everyone can get the chance to be full of love and happiness on this very special day. Either way, you can always bond with other foreigners that are in the same position as you to celebrate Christmas. So it is a win-win situation for literally everyone.
Events, discounts, and gift buying starts early. Very early!
Holiday events, promotions, and sales are found in nearly every department store starting early as November, even individual stores too. Some cosmetic stores can offer gifts for purchases to accompany your buy worth over 15,000 Won. Shoppers are also automatically entered into drawings for different prizes. Most department stores can be easy rivals for the best decorations and displays seen even in New York City. You can also find excellent deals on websites if you are interested in Korean products, such as Gmarket (English available).
Christmas Music.....Isn't Quite The Same.
In the Western world, there is no Christmas without the music. The same goes for South Korea, but there is a small catch. They don’t quite fit the same genre. In spite that there are very traditional Christmas songs playing on the streets, such as “Jingle Bells” and “Silent Night,” these songs will often not be played on the radio. You will more likely get an “All I want for Christmas is You” sung by Mariah Carey, which in some sense focuses on the couple aspect of the holiday (again, couples is a big thing here in Korea!). Additionally, every new K-pop release that is related to Christmas songs will probably have something to do with relationships and love! Some examples of K-pop idols you might hear on the radio will be, MBLAQ, Boyfriend, Girl’s Generation, ZE:A, Miss A, and etc. Not to mention the opportunity to dress idols up in adorable matching holiday outfits, you will also see many people on the streets doing the same!
Other Fun/Misc Things You Might Notice
-Churches can be decorated with flashy neon lights and many have a bright red neon cross on top. Even among the non Christians, you may notice a lot of people going to Church just for heck of it. It’s Christmas, c’mon! -Department stores will be the most decorated buildings of any building in Seoul. Part of their market strategy? Who knows! But it’s darn pretty. -The most popular present is money! No, really! In S. Korea, the most preferred gift is money, although the reason is quite unknown, it has become quite trendy. Another tid bit – it is even mandatory to give money to the bride and groom at a traditional Korean wedding! -Santa Claus can also be seen around Korea but he might be wearing blue! -It’s not Santa Claus, but Santa Haraboji aka Santa Grandfather.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS VINGLE!!!!!
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