New Year is a special holiday for everyone in South Korea. To prepare for the New Year, Koreans spend time cleaning their homes, buying new clothes, and preparing traditional dishes. Every year, millions of people gather together to welcome the New Year in Korea. Have you already decided on what to do for New Year’s Eve in Korea? If not, come and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Yeosu!
What Do People Do on New Year’s Eve in Korea?
Gather With Friends & Family
Of course, on New Year’s Eve, many gather around with their family and have a big meal together. After dinner, they usually watch the New Year’s Eve special on TV and then count down to midnight.
Some people, especially youth, usually meet with friends and go for a party with drinks and snacks. Thus, some people meet on New Year’s in clubs, bars, restaurants, etc.
Buddhist Bell Ringing Ceremonies
Also, special New Year events and ceremonies are prepared in many Korean cities. One of the most popular ones is the bell-ringing ceremony at Bosingak. To visit this event, you should go to the center of Seoul but be aware that this place most likely will be extremely overcrowded.
Other Buddhist centers and temples also have bell-ringing ceremonies that won’t be as crowded. You can always check with your local temple to see if they will be hosting one as well. During these ceremonies, a large bell is rung 33 times by important members of the community.
However, the major events do not finish after counting down at midnight. The morning of New Year’s Day is also special in Korea. Many people go out early to see the “first sunrise” of the year, which symbolizes a new beginning and good fortune.
The First Sunrise of the Year in Yeosu
There are many popular locations in South Korea to view the first sunrise of the year. For example, Yeosu has a great view of the sunrise, and every year, many people travel to this city for this special event. Yeosu also hosts the Hyangiram Sunrise Festival which is an event that celebrates the first sunrise of the year with traditional music and performances.
This festival is not so far from another popular destination – Hyangiram Hermitage, which is located on the top of a mountain near Yeosu. This hermitage offers a stunning view of the sunrise as well as various Buddhist temples to explore. So, aside from Sunrise Festival you also can visit this Hyangiram Hermitage.
How to go to Hyangiram Sunrise Festival
To get there here, you can take a bus from Yeosu Bus Terminal or take a car or taxi from Yeosu Airport. For a more unusual experience, you can take a ferry from Yeosu to Dolsando Island. Available routes and book tickets you can on this website. From the terminal to Hyangiram Sunrise Festival you can go walking. There is no entrance fee for this festival.
Address: 60, Hyangilam-ro, Dolsan-eup, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do Korean address: 전라남도 여수시 돌산읍 향일암로 60 Operating Hours: December 31 - January 1
I hope this post helped you plan your New Year’s Day in South Korea and I wish you all a happy New Year!
Want to know more about New Year’s Eve events in Korea for 2023? Click Here for a list of celebrations!