Calendar & Information of all South Korea Holidays 2022

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Brief Introduction and Overview about South Korea Holidays 2022

South Korea is a country teeming with culture, history, legacy, and a strong sense of patriotism and national pride. In this article, you'll get to know more about the country and the enigma through its many festive celebrations throughout the year.

Like many East Asian nations, the holidays in South Korea are a combination of festivities that follow the Gregorian and the Lunar calendars. Despite that, all these holidays share the common themes of family values, tradition, and deep sense of reverence for their country.

Read on to know more about the traditions and holidays that make South Korea one of the most interesting destinations for your next holiday!

Day of WeekDateSouth Korea Holidays 2022
Saturday January 1 New Year's Day
Tuesday and Wednesday February 1 - 2 Lunar New Year (Seollal)
Tuesday March 1 Independence Movement Day (Samiljeol)
Thursday May 5 Children's Day (Eorininal)
Sunday Monday May8 - 9 Buddha's Birthday (Bucheonnim Osinnal)
Monday June 6 Memorial Day (Hyeonchung-il)
Monday August 15 Liberation Day (Gwangbokjeol)
Friday - Sunday September 9 - 11 Mid-Autumn Festival (Chuseok)
Monday October 3 National Foundation Day (Gaecheonjeol)
Sunday October 9 Hangeul Proclamation Day
Sunday December 25 Christmas (Gidoktansinil)

South Koreans wearing hanbok

South Korea Holidays 2022: Lunar New Year (Seollal)

Date: February 1 & 2, 2022

Day of the Week: Tuesday & Wednesday

The Lunar New Year, or Seollal, is the first and one of the biggest holidays in South Korea that follows the lunar calendar. The three-day holiday covers the day before, the day of, and the day after the first day of the lunar calendar. The traditional Seollal celebrations have multiple elements that center around reunions, honoring their dead ancestors, and paying respects to their elders. Families travel far and wide for Seollal in order to perform these rites.

Donning traditional clothing called hanbok, Koreans perform a kind of worship ritual for their dead ancestors called the Charye. The charye is the act of offering food for the ancestors, where different sets of dishes - sides, soups, protein-based mains - sit against a backdrop of the family tablets to represent the departed ancestors. The arrangement of the food is just as essential as the selection of dishes itself, with the proteins set closest to the tablets and farthest from those paying their respects

South Korea Holidays 2022: Independence Movement Day (Samiljeol)

Date: March 1, 2022

Day of the Week: Tuesday

It is one of the most patriotic of South Korea's holidays, celebrated with grandiose parades, festivals, and concerts, as well as the commemorative reading of the Korean Declaration of Independence at the Tapgol Park in Seoul. Korean flags line up the streets and adorn homes across the country as well.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Children's Day (Eorininal)

Date: May 5, 2022

Day of the Week: Thursday

Few countries celebrate children's day with as much importance and fanfare as the South Koreans. Known locally as the eorininal, children's day has been a public holiday in South Korea since 1923, honoring and celebrating children, promoting their general welfare, and instilling in them a sense of national pride. During this holiday, parents give their children gifts in the form of money or toys, and take them out on a day of fun visiting zoos, museums, amusement parks, or spending the day on a picnic.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Buddha's Birthday (Bucheonnim Osinnal)

Date: May 8 & 9, 2022

Day of the Week: Sunday & Monday

One-fifth of the country's population are practicing Buddhists, and have been for centuries. It comes as no surprise, then, that Buddha’s birthday is a public holiday in South Korea. The term for the holiday in Korean, Bucheonnim ossinnal, literally translates to "the day when the Buddha came" and is one of the highlights of spring festivities in South Korea. It is not only a day for the faithful to celebrate Buddha, but also a time for them to reflect on Buddhist virtues and teachings.

Buddhist temples country come alive with brightly-colored lanterns and other decorations, and treat their visitors to games, performances, and offerings of tea and vegetarian rice bowls known as bibimbap. Lantern parades, particularly in major cities like Seoul and Busan, are also part of the celebrations, featuring elaborate lanterns depicting famous Buddhist imagery.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Memorial Day (Hyeonchung-il)

Date: June 6, 2022

Day of the Week: Monday

On June 6 of every year, Koreans commemorate those who have fought and sacrificed their lives to defend the country with the Hyeonchung-il, or Memorial Day. On this day, government officials including the President, other public figures, and ordinary people – particularly those who have lost loved ones in the service, flock to the Seoul National Memorial Cemetery to pay their respects. Official ceremonies start with the nationwide ringing of sirens at 10 in the morning, followed by a minute of silence, and the playing of the Heyonchung-il norae or the Memorial Day Song. Korean flags, flown at half-mast, adorn the graves at the Memorial Cemetery, business establishments, and homes.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Liberation Day (Gwangbokjeol)

Date: August 15, 2022

Day of the Week: Monday

One of the most important holidays in South Korea is Liberation Day, known locally as the Gwangbokjeol.

Today, South Koreans celebrate Liberation Day with an elaborate ceremony at the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan, led by the President, and punctuated by the singing of the Gwangbokjeol song. Korean flags line the streets, and adorn the windows of business establishments and homes across the country.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Mid-Autumn Festival (Chuseok)

Date: September 9 - 11, 2022

Day of the Week: Friday - Sunday

Chuseok, or the mid-autumn festival, is one of the biggest holidays in South Korea that follow the lunar calendar, with celebrations lasting 3 full days. The highlights of this mid-autumn harvest festival include gift-giving, eating traditional autumn food, and paying respects to elders. Like they do during the Lunar New Year celebrations, South Koreans travel en masse to visit their ancestral homes and perform the charye - an ancestral memorial rite marked by the offering of food to their departed ancestors. Among of the most important elements of the charye spread for the Chuseok is a rice cake known as songpyeon, as well as an alcoholic drink known as baekju. After having paid their respects to their departed ancestors, family members share the food amongst each other. It is also customary to give gifts and play folk games during Chuseok.

South Korea Holidays 2022: National Foundation Day (Gaecheonjeol)

Date: October 3, 2022

Day of the Week: Monday

The Gaecheonjeol is the public holiday considered to be the birthday of Korea. This public holiday commemorates the formation of the Gojoseon, regarded as the first Korean nation, in 2333 BC, from which the first Korean people emerged. Gaecheonjol literally translates to "the day the heavens opened", in reference to the Dangun Myth, and the descent of the son of the Lord of Heaven, creating the Gojoseon.

Gaechonjeol has been publicly celebrated on October 3 of every year when the country switched to the Gregorian (or solar) calendar. Today, National Foundation Day celebrations center around ceremonies at the Dangun shrines located across the country, as well as fireworks display at the Yeouido Han River Park and an official ceremony at the Sejong Performing Arts Center, both of which are in Seoul.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Hangul Proclamation Day

Date: October 9, 2022

Day of the Week: Sunday

Hangul Day is one a unique holiday in South Korea. It is a public holiday that specifically celebrates the national language, the hangul (alternately spelled as hangeul). Celebrations tend to be smaller and are done so with less fanfare, but it is an important public holiday nonetheless. Many locals celebrate the holiday by visiting the museum of King Sejong in Seoul, a fitting tribute to the ruler who is responsible for the creation and development of hangul as Korea's national language.

South Korea Holidays 2022: Christmas

Date: December 25, 2022

Day of the Week: Sunday

South Korea is the only country in the East Asian region where Christmas is a public holiday. This is due to the fact that Christians take up to 30% of the national population. Christmas celebration in South Korea is generally a quieter affair, without grandiose traditions attached to it, unlike those of Chuseok and Seollal. But because it is still a national holiday, the day off from school and work is still a welcome gift. Shopping centers and malls light up with holiday decors and Christmas lights as well, adding a festive air to the holiday.

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