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  • Lunar New Year events abound around Seoul

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    A wealth of Lunar New Year events – from traditional folk games and performances to exhibitions and cultural activities – will soon be springing up all over the city.

    Seoul City highlighted, for instance, the “Namsangol Lunar New Year Event” taking place from Feb. 2 to 4, the first of a medley of events scheduled for the holidays. This event will feature traditional cultural performances, including “gukak,” or traditional Korean music, performed by an all-female group. Lunar New Year’s Day, or “Seollal,” falls on Feb. 3 this year. The Unhyeongung (Palace) will be holding various traditional events during the Lunar New Year holidays (Feb. 2 to 4) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program includes an explanation and display of the typical ancestral feast and the memorial rites practiced on Lunar New Year’s Day, folk games and making a lucky pouch. Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy a traditional jumping game, an arrow-throwing game, the traditional board game called “yut,” and a small bean-bag kicking game.

    The program designed for foreigners has been scheduled for Feb. 1 to 5 at the Seoul Namsan Traditional Theater. Not only will the participants be able to experience Korean customs but the Lunar New Year edition of the “Mi Su Da” will be recorded at the site. On Feb. 19, the Yongsan-gu Office Plaza will serve as the venue for a festival in celebration of the 15th of the first month of the lunar calendar, called “Jeongwoldaeboreum,” which will be attended by foreign diplomats in Korea.

    For parents looking for something special for their children, they may want to mark down Feb. 4 on which a variety of performances for 1,000 won will be offered. The program includes the “happiness” concerts to be staged at the Seoul Open Theater Changdong. Also featured will be an A cappella performance and a B-Boy show.

    The Seoul Zoo will be holding the “Winter Trip to Seoul Zoo” until Feb. 6 together with an array of traditional folk activities. The “Year of the Hare Let’s Play” program will allow children to play with rabbits in a variety of fun activities. A photo zone will offer the young participants the chance to take photos with the cuddly and cute furry animal. The public recreational grounds in the heart of the city – the Seoul Plaza skating rink and the outdoor skating rink in the World Cup Park – will be open to the public until Feb. 13.

    2011 Lunar New Year Cultural Events Schedule
    Event Name When About Event Where&
    Contact No.
    Lunar New Year Event 2.2 (Wed.)~4 (Fri.) 11:00~17:00 New Year’s cultural fun and games, performance by an all-female gukak group, folk games, rice-cake soup (Tteokguk) sampling, rice cake sampling
    Introduction to Seollal customs, having one’s New Year’s fortune told, making traditional kites, making bean bags and fortune pouches>Introduction to Seollal customs, having one’s New Year’s fortune told, making traditional kites, making bean bags and fortune pouches
    Namsangol Hanok Village
    02-2266-6923
    Unhyeongung (Palace) Seollal Folk Event 2.2 (Wed.)~4 (Fri.)
    10:00~17:00
    Introduction to ancestral meal rites and meal sampling, making bean bags and fortune pouches, jumping game, arrow throwing, yut, and bean-bag kicking. Unhyeongung (Palace)
    02-766-9090
    Happy Seollal With 1,000 Won 2.4 (Fri.) Fun an A cappella and B-Boy performances for the whole family, and other events, for 1,000 won Seoul Open Theater Changdong
    02-994-1469
    Misuda 2.1 (Tue.)~2.5(Sa.) 16:00 For foreign residents and tourists to enjoy traditional Korean culture and customs, includes making rice-cake soup (tteokguk), playing Seollal games like “yut,” and hearing Seollal stories. Seoul Namsan Traditional Theater
    02-399-1114
    Celebrating the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar (jeongwoldaeboreum) with foreign diplomats in Korea 2.19 (Sat.) Traditional activities and traditional craft-making events, sampling traditional tea and learning about the custom of eating nuts on Jeongwoldaeboreum, and a Nanta show. Yongsan-gu Office Plaza
    02-2199-7245
    Winter trip to Seoul Zoo ~2.6 (Sun.) 2011 Traditional Folk Ground Seoul Zoo
    500-7682
    Year of the Hare Let’s Play ~2.6(Sun.)
    Sat., Sun., holiday
    Giant rabbit show, best pet rabbit show, rabbit educational programs, photo opportunity with rabbits. Seoul Zoo Main Plaza
    500-7840.7177
    Outdoor Skating Rink, Ice Sleighing Rink ~2.13 (Sun.) Outdoor Skating Rink,Ice sleigh-riding activity World Cup Park,
    Pyeonghwa Park Parking Lot
    02-308-7442
    Skating Rink, Skating Lesson Rink ~2.13(Sun.) From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and till 11 p.m. on weekdays and holidays (except Sundays).Skating lessons 10,000 won per person, includes one-hour free skating time. 02-3210-1267~8