While the United States is waiting to see if Punxatauny Phil sees his shadow, families in Korea were preparing to go back to the home towns of their parents and ancestors. This past week was the celebration of the Lunar New Year here in Korea. It is a three day celebration where individuals celebrate charye (차례). It is during this time that a child goes before his parents and bows and a small gift of money is given.
Lunar New Year is also celebrated with eating traditional Rice Cake Soup. It is the time of year when everyone turns a year old. Here in Korea, one does not have to wait until the date of their birth to turn a year older but this happens on the Lunar New Year.
We think traffic is busy during the holidays in the United States but it is nothing compared to here in Korea during the Lunar New Year. We are advised not to travel down into Seoul because you can get stuck sitting in traffic for hours. So we took the advice and just stayed home during the holiday time.