The first snowfall is definitely meaningful in South Korea, that is why we are about to introduce you 5 Korean beliefs about the first snow!
The reason to why it is meaningful, it is not only because the romantic customs behind it, but also because it indeed brings back to life the nostalgic memories from childhood. Thanks to those memories, a lot of people wait with eagerness for this day to come. Or simply, because snow makes them happy.
Thus, since the old times the first snowfall is significant. That is why a lot of beliefs have surged since then.
Notably, South Korea seems to be a pretty romantic country, and this custom proves it.
There is a superstition that if you witness the first snowfall with the person you like, true love will blossom between both and it will be long-lasting. Because of this, a lot of couples also promise to meet each other at certain place to enjoy the first snowfall and hope for their love to be eternal.
If you are a fan of K-Dramas, you might already know this custom thanks to «Goblin». Pretty romantic, right?
During the Joseon Dynasty (조선시대), the first day of snow was considered a kind of April Fool’s Day, due to how rare was to see snow in the Yellow Sea coast. Because of that, there was a belief that all lies would be forgiven, even if you lie to the king. Of course, excessive lying would not be the case.
The reason why the first snow had a special meaning back then, it was because the weather could not be predicted in advance. In addition, the first snow meant abundant harvest for next year. The first snow day happens during Soseol (소설). Read more about Soseol (소설):
If you are fan of K-Drama, you might already have heard about this custom thanks to «My Love from the Star»
According to an old tale, the King Sang (상왕) wanted to play a prank to the King Noh Sang (노상왕) by sending him a box filled with the first snow. Therefore, he ordered to Choi Yoo (최유) to deceive him, by telling him that it was medicine instead. However, the King already knew about this prank, and gave the order to catch Choi Yoo, who had already fled.
Upon losing, the King Noh Sang had to give one glass of alcohol to King Sang. Because of this, since Goryeo Dynasty (고려시대), it became a custom that the person who receives snow must give alcohol to the sender. On the contrary, if the person that receives it realizes in advance that it is a prank, and before the person who did the errand goes away, the sender will be the one who will have to prepare the drink instead.
If you want to receive free alcohol, do not forget to send snow in a box to your friend!
In modern times, the first snow day is dedicated to love and childhood memories. Because of this, people immediatly gather to witness the first snowfall together.
Some people have the belief that if you make a wish during the first snowfall, it is going to become true. With this in mind, the first snow day is a day you wont want to miss.
It is believed that in order to find your first love, you must paint your nails red with balsam flowers (봉숭아물). It sounds like a pretty easy task, but actually, for some people it is not. This is because you must preserve the red color of your nails till the first snow comes. Only if the color does not fade, you will be able to meet the love of your life.
The needed flower is called 봉숭아 in korean and 봉선화 in chinese. This flower blooms on the fourth lunar month, therefore, you must color your nails around late summer or early fall. Which means that you need to take care of your nails for months, till the first snow comes.
If you want to learn how to carry out this tradition, visit the next article we prepared for you! Among these 5 Korean Beliefs about the First Snow, this is definitely the most interesting.
The first snow day is indeed an important date in South Korea. Which let us know more about their culture and their mindset.
With that in mind, if you are planning to visit South Korea, do not miss the opportunity of coming during winter. Who knows? Maybe you will be able to find your first love!
If you like korean customs, do not miss the chance to try these 5 korean beliefs about the first snow! It is a great experience for foreigners.
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