Festivals & Events

New Year’s Eve in Korea 2023

Although New Year does not traditionally hold the same significance in Korea as Seollal, people still go out to celebrate in many different ways – from parties in dance clubs to watching bell-tolling events. Let’s take a look at some of the official countdown events to welcome in the new year – 2023!

This year will be the first time since the start of COVD-19 that these events will be resumed. Also, for this reason, the city of Seoul decided to invite 22 YouTubers whose combined number of followers reaches 21.3 million to help welcome 2023.

In order to prevent overcrowding, more new year’s bell-tolling events will be held in Seoul than ever before! Plus, many of the regular fireworks shows are returning this year.

Bosingak Ceremony (Seoul, Bell Ringing)

This is Korea’s oldest and most popular event to welcome in the new year.

The Bosingak bell is located in Jongno near Jonggak station in Seoul. For that reason, subway line number 1 will be skipping this station starting at 11 PM on the day of the event in order to prevent overcrowding. Public transportation will also extend its operations until 2 AM so that people can get home after the New Year Events.

The bell will be rung 33 times by 16 different people, including the Mayor of Seoul. Afterwards, visitors will be able to enjoy a firework show.

Adress: 54, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 종로 54)

Gwanghwamun Square (Seoul, Bell Ringing)

The second spot that Seoul chose for the resumption of the annual bell-tolling ceremony is one of the most famous squares in the country – Gwanghwamun Square. Gwanghwamun Square just opened up again this fall after renovations. As a result, it is a very nice area with much more open space than before.

You can get there by subway line 3 (Gyengbokgung station) or line 5 (Gwanghwamun station). It is also around 15 minutes’ walking distance from the Bosingak Ceremony. So if you arrive, but it is too crowded for your liking, this is a great backup.

Address: 172, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 종로구 세종대로 172)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Seoul, Bell Ringing)

The last scene in Seoul to watch the ceremony this year is Dongdaemun Design Plaza. It is surrounded by 4 different subway lines. First, there is line 1 (Dongdaemun station). Then, line 2 (Dongdaemun history and culture park station). Also, line 4 (Dongdaemun station, or Dongdaemun history and culture park station). And, finally, line 5 (Dongdaemun history and culture park station).

DDP also presents a special SEOUL LIGHT event designed by Zaha Hadid, which is developed through innovative AI technology. This is the first year the DDP is hosting an official New Year’s event. If it is anything like its regular light shows, we are sure it will be fantastic.

Address: 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가))

Yongdusan Park (Busan, Bell Ringing)

Not only in Seoul do people enjoy traditional bell-tolling ceremonies. If you live closer to Busan, you can visit one in Yongdusan park. Just like in Seoul, there will also be a bell rung 33 times to represent the Buddhist Goddess Mercy’s 33 manifestations to save mankind.

Address: 37-55, Yongdusan-gil, Jung-gu, Busan (부산광역시 중구 용두산길 37-55)

Starfield COEX Mall (Seoul, Fireworks?)

Last year dazzled COEX its visitors by using 600 drones for the show. Let’s see how they surprise us this time! Will there be fireworks? Will there be drones? Or, will a new technological advancement greet us this year?

Address: 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 강남구 영동대로 513 (삼성동))

Hyangiram Sunrise Festival (Yeosu, Festival)

If you prefer to escape the huge crowds of the metropolis, then heading toward Yeosu might be just the right thing for you. Their festival features not only fireworks but also folk street music or wish lanterns. Each year is a little different, however, this is an all-night festival. You can enjoy the countdown for the new year. Then, you can celebrate the first sunrise of the year.

Address: 70-4, Hyangiram-ro, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 여수시 돌산읍 향일암로 70-4)

No matter where you decide to spend your last moments of 2022, the KoreabyMe Team is wishing you the best of luck and a lot of happiness in 2023!