Korean New Year ‘Seollal’ comes to Bangkok

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Korean New Year 'Seollal' comes to Bangkok

Korean New Year ‘Seollal’ comes to Bangkok


Stephanie Adair

The Korean Cultural Centre on Sukhumvit Road is hosting “Sawasdee Pee Mai Kaoli” on Tuesday to give Thais a taste of the Korean Lunar New Year, which is very different to the Chinese version.

The event opened with university students majoring in the Korean language paying respect to South Korean Ambassador Moon Seung-hyun and members of the Thai Korean War Veterans Association.

This ceremony called “Sebae” is much like Thailand’s “rot dam nam hua” ceremony, which is marked during Songkran.

The Tuesday event also includes other traditions like skits, making rice cakes and wearing traditional costumes. Traditionally, the oval rice cakes are beaten using a mallet called the tteokme before they are used to create tteokguk soup. The oval-shaped cakes are white symbolising a bright, prosperous new year.

Korean New Year 'Seollal' comes to Bangkok

“The Korean New Year has a warm family culture, as the family gets together by paying respect to the elders, eating symbolic dishes and enjoying traditional plays,” Cho Jae Il, director of the Korean Cultural Centre, said.

“I hope many Thais come and enjoy our ‘Seollal’ experience, which is different from the Chinese Lunar New Year.”

Korean New Year 'Seollal' comes to Bangkok

Unlike the Chinese New Year, which is symbolised by the colour red, the Korean version uses white to signify fresh new beginnings.

The event, which saw some 1,000 visitors, also included traditional musical performances. Entrance was free.

Stephanie Adair

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