December 25th is considered an official holiday and a day off in South Korea. Those who are excited about this upcoming holiday are young children waiting for a New Year’s miracle or couples in love looking for a way to spend time together and go on a date to a good restaurant.
There are some differences between the Christmas celebration in South Korea and Ukraine. In the country of morning freshness, city alleys, churches, houses, and shopping malls start sparkling with a New Year’s atmosphere of a fairy tale at the beginning of December. Enormous Christmas trees appear, shop windows are stylized, and Christmas carols are played on each corner in the bells’ rhythm. The main symbol of Christmas in South Korea is Santa Claus.
Tour of famous places in Seoul
What about Busan?
In addition to the decorations, Catholic and Protestant churches hold services followed by a children’s choir. It’s the time when schoolchildren and preschoolers dress up like little angels and sing Christmas carols with happy smiles on their faces. Also, on Christmas Eve, charitable foundations collect donations and transfer money for exceptional children’s treatment.
South Korean aesthetics
There are traditional dishes that every family cooks, like dumplings, kutia, and twelve dishes on the traditional Ukrainian table. The situation is different in Korea, as every family has its own food preferences. For example, baeksuk (백숙), japchae (잡채), bulgogi (불고기), bibimbap (비빔밥), mandu (만두), ssam (쌈), naengmyeon (냉면), tteok (떡), kimchi (김치) and alcoholic beverage – soju (소주).
What we need is a playlist to create a Christmas mood.
Christmas shopping is also popular. Boutique windows shimmer with bright garlands and discount signs. You get a chance not only to buy a gift for yourself in a Christmas sale but also to enjoy the shopping. After all, a postcard with an image of a marvelous place in Korea can complete the perfect moment and fill it with a holiday mood.
The following cozy Korean dramas will help you brighten up your Christmas Eve:
Something in the Rain (밥 잘 사주는 예쁜 누나)
30-year-old Yoon Jin-a works as a supervisor in a coffee company. She dreams of family, support, and understanding but feels complete emptiness in her personal life and at work. Suddenly, her best friend’s younger brother appeared, whom she had not seen for several years and didn’t percept him as a man. The guy changed a lot after he lived abroad. From the moment Jin-a met him again, it felt like they restarted their acquaintance from the beginning, which began to grow from friendly meetings to something more serious.
While You Were Sleeping (당신이 잠든 사이에)
A girl named Nam Hong-joo (Bae Suzy) is endowed with an unusual gift. From an early age, she dreams about various events that happen to her acquaintances but can’t change any of them. Eventually getting used to it, she just writes down a new dream in a notebook and goes to work every morning. Once Hong-joo had a dream where she was tenderly hugging a stranger and wiping blood from his face. A moment later, the stranger in whose arms she was melting in her dream appears on the doorstep of her house with a cake. He is her new neighbor Jung Jae-chan (Lee Jong-suk). But is their acquaintance accidental? What is behind the fate of these two people?
I’ll Go to You When the Weather Is Nice (날씨가 좋으면 찾아가겠어요)
The main character Mok Hae-won (Park Min-young) is a cellist who has always believed that only music can brighten bad days. However, after a conflict at work, she has to leave noisy Seoul and move to Bukchon village for a while to get inspiration from her aunt. There is a cozy bookstore next to her aunt’s boarding house. Im Eun-seop (Seo Kang-joon) is the bookstore’s owner who had a tough time; ironically, he was in love with Hae-won at school. Therefore, he pours his feelings into a private blog at leisure until one situation brings young people together again with a majestic winter atmosphere.
메리 크리스마스! Merry Christmas!
Journalist Viktoriia Holovach, English translation by Anastasiia Malakhova0