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100 Days Celebration: Traditions


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Just as BAEK IL (100 Days) is an established tradition in Korea, we wanted to explore some other traditions, especially in the dramas we watch. So, we're sharing some of our favorites, but would love to hear about other traditions as well, whether reflected in dramas or not!


Or if you have any questions about traditions that you've seen and were curious about, let us know, and we'll try to answer it for you.

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Birthday Cake Recipe | Land O'Lakes




Birth - Koreans consider time in the womb, so babies are 1 year old when they are born. Then everyone adds one year to their age on January 1, but birthdays are celebrated when you are born, so age and birthday is not the same thing to Koreans.


Baek Il (100 Days) - This birthday is the first major celebration of a baby's life.


Dol (First Birthday) - In addition to the celebratory feasting and formal photos in a special hanbok (Dol-bok) and a special feast setting (Dol Table), babies may be gifted with a solid gold ring or a solid gold bracelet to celebrate this birthday.


Hwang Gab (60th Birthday) - 60 is considered auspicious because it is a complete cycle of the Korean/Chinese zodiac, but also because it used to be rare historically for Koreans to live to 60. Even though Korean longevity is on par with other developed countries now, it is still celebrated as a significant milestone in people's lives.


Seaweed Soup - Seaweed soup is fed to pregnant women because they contain nutrients that are beneficial to the mother and fetus, including iodine. After birth, the mother is again given the soup to help with recovery and to be able to care for the baby. Seaweed soup may be served at other meals, but it is definitely served every birthday to commemorate the birth. The only times that seaweed soup is not served is before an exam since the "slipperiness" of the seaweed is seen as being inauspicious to "sticking" (passing) the exam.



The Garden of Morning Calm to begin Lighting Festival Dec. 6 | Stripes Korea


SOME HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS - This is not a comprehensive list of holidays and festivals, just some significant ones that are celebrated nationally.


Sae Hae (New Year - January 1)


Seol Lal (Lunar New Year - Feb 22, 2021) 

Bigger celebration than New Year. Families gather in their hometowns. Children dress up in traditional clothes or their best clothes to bow to their parents and elders, and are given envelopes of money in return. Typical food are rice cake soup and dumpling soup, amongst other foods. Then everyone may play games together.


Daeborum / Boreumdal (First Full Moon of the new lunar year - around February)


Valentine's Day (February 14) 

Unlike in other countries where guys and girls exchange tokens of affection, in South Korea, this is a day for girls to give chocolates or other gifts to guys they like.


White Day (March 14) - Guys give gifts to girls that they like.


Eo-ri-ni Nal (Children's Day - May 5)


Chuseok (Harvest Festival aka Korean Thanksgiving - 15th day of 8th lunar month - typically end of Sept/beginning of Oct)

The second most important holiday in South Korea, this is another day for going back to one's hometown to visit with family. Memorial rites are typically held to honor one's ancestors.


Christmas (December 25)

Korea is a multi-religious society with Buddhism, Christianity, and Animism being the most prevalent, however, they celebrate Christmas as a national holiday. Buddha's Birthday (8th day of the 4th lunar month) is also a national holiday, but the celebrations are primarily in the Buddhist temples rather than pervasive as Christmas is.



Korean Wedding Cliparts - Korean Traditional Wedding Cartoon, transparent png #8303867


WEDDING TRADITIONS - This is not a comprehensive list of traditions surrounding the institution of marriage in SK, but some significant aspects, especially as shown in dramas. There are many good resources now, including wikipedia, that talk comprehensively about Korean engagement and wedding traditions.


Seon - Usually translated as a blind date, this is actually a blind date set up for a couple to meet with the potential of meeting a suitable marriage partner, usually by the parents or through a matchmaker. While it is up to the couple as to whether to keep meeting each other or not, it is understood that both members are looking for a marriage partner rather than a casual date.


Sang Gyeon Nae - A formal exchange of nuptial greetings, frequently done in K-dramas at restaurants where the bridge and groom and their families have a meal and discuss the marriage arrangements.


Marriage Ceremonies - It's become customary for South Korean couples to have a Western style wedding where the bride is dressed in a white gown and the man in a suit or a tuxedo, but then also to make their formal bows to their parents dressed in hanboks. The hanboks are usually much more brightly colored rather than subdued colors. The traditional hanbok colors are red for brides and blue for grooms. White is not worn by the marrying couple or any of the guests since white is not considered a festive color in Korean.


Marriage Ceremony vs Legally Married - One thing to note is that, as in Western weddings, the wedding ceremony is separate from the legal marriage. In Western ceremonies, the wedding is legally binding once an officiant signs the certificate along with the couple. In Korea, it is also when the marriage is registered, that it is considered official. Depending on circumstances, however, the registration may happen significantly before or after a wedding. For instance, in Secret Garden, the OTP registered their marriage, but ended the drama still holding off on having a wedding ceremony until the groom's mother approved of their marriage. In Playful Kiss, the couple have the wedding ceremony and live as a couple, but the groom claims he will withhold registration until the bride has been admitted into a study program.



File:Dragon And Tiger Korean Lantern Festival (175427785).jpeg





Tigers hold a special significance to Koreans. Considered the guardian of Korea as well as an apex predator, once upon a time, the Korean peninsula hosted thousands of asiatic tigers, though they are extinct now. Unfortunately, the last tigers were hunted and killed during the Japanese colonial period of Korea. Tigers figure in the many legends and stories of Korea, including that of its legendary founder, Dangun. Thus tigers have been the mascots of both Olympics held in Korea, Hodori in the Summer Games of 1988 and Soohorang in the Winter Games of 2018. The Taeguk Warriors, South Korea's national football team, wear a tiger crest as their shirt badge.



Unlike tigers which were real animals that roamed the Korean peninsula, dragons are pure legends, and so perhaps do not have the same hold on the Korean collective, even though dragons are frequently featured in Korean myths and lore as well. Korean dragons, however, tend not to be the fire animals as in Western dragon lore, but rather are water animals, frequently residing in seas, lakes or rivers, and bringing rain with them when they come. As such, Korean dragons are considered benevolent, protective creatures who aid in farming. The dragon mythology also ties Korea to other Asian legends where dragons are prevalent.



For any viewers of the K-Drama "Tale of the Nine Tailed", the imugi in this drama is considered to be a malevolent creature who wants to bring chaos to our world. In more classic Korean mythology, however, an imugi is a proto-dragon who has a serpentine body (but is not a serpent). There are different stories that relate to how an imugi is related to a dragon, including that an imugi has to wait 1000 years to become a dragon, or that imugis are failed and cursed dragons. In general, though, imugis are considered to be large, benevolent creatures and sighting one is supposed to bring good luck.

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On 11/22/2020 at 10:09 AM, stroppyse said:

Valentine's Day (February 14) 

Unlike in other countries where guys and girls exchange tokens of affection, in South Korea, this is a day for girls to give chocolates or other gifts to guys they like.


For Chinese Valentines, it wont be for lovers though more for singles Chinese called it 'Chap Goh Meh'


it will fall on the 15th days of the Chinese New Year, usually they will celebrate this with single girls throwing oranges into the sea where they hope for a good partner or someone to finally be part of her life....


at the same times....single guys will be rowing boat to pickup the orange in hope of finding a good girl / someone to partner up....


over the times or over the years as it evolved, nowadays girls will write their contact on the orange in hope of some good single guy will pick it up and call them for a match make 



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another traditions for Chinese New Year will be on the 8th Day of Chinese New Year, where it will be a celebration for the Hokkien ppl...


this is when they will be paying and praying tribute to the 'Ti Gong' (Sky God), each family of Hokkien-Chinese will be celebrating this one, this is biggest day to them instead of 1st day of CNY, as it was 'TiGong' that save them from the armies, as the armies is bend on annihilating the whole Hokkien village, i forget for what reason.....


so the myth has it that 'TiGong' wave his hands and created a field of Sugarcane for the villagers to hide....and it was just like magic, as the moment the villager enter that field, the army were not able to find a single one of the villager, which had save them.......


hence whenever they pay tribute to 'TiGong' they will always have Sugarcane, as this is like a trademark for them....and also like a sacred object too....as this is the item that save them  

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Chinese Festivals and Holidays


Chinese Lunar New Year ( 新年快乐 Xīn Nián Kuài Lè)

Usually in Jan / Feb, in 2021 will be on February 21. On the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations in China, a Spring Lantern Festival is held (which is different than the autumnal Lantern Festival).


The Myth:

According to tales and legends, the beginning of the Chinese New Year started with a mythical beast called the Nian (a beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains) during the annual Spring Festival. The Nian would eat villagers, especially children in the middle of the night.[19] One year, all the villagers decided to go hide from the beast. An old man, appeared before the villagers went into hiding and said that he would stay the night, and would get revenge on the Nian. All the villagers thought he was insane.


The old man put red papers up and set off firecrackers. The day after, the villagers came back to their town and saw that nothing had been destroyed. They assumed that the old man was a deity who came to save them. The villagers then understood that Yanhuang had discovered that the Nian was afraid of the color red and loud noises.[19] So the tradition grew that when New Year was approaching, the villagers would wear red clothes, hang red lanterns, and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. After that, Nian retreated to a nearby mountain. The name of the mountain has long been lost over the years.[20]


There is also a saying that the beast is "Xi", rather than Nian. Spring Festival included New Year’s Eve and New Year. Xi is a kind of faint monster, and Nian is not related to the animal beasts in terms of meaning, it is more like a mature harvest.[clarification needed] There is no record of the beast in the ancient texts; it is only in Chinese folklore. The word "Nian" is composed of the words "he" and "Qian". It means that the grain is rich and the harvest is good. The farmers review the harvest at the end of the year and are also full of expectations for the coming year.[21]


According to Chinese historical documents, since the beginning of the era, people have celebrated the harvest in the New Year and welcomed the new folk customs. Later, they gradually became an established traditional festival.

(Cr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year)



Live: Dragon boat races in central China highlights the festival - CGTN


Dragon Boat Festival (端午節 Duān Wǔ Jié)

Held on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month, usually May-June.

Notable traditions as part of this festival include dragon boat racing and eating zongzi (traditional Chinese rice dumplings).


One of the famous tales, where DuanWuJie came from is as the below:

Main article: Qu Yuan

The story best known in modern China holds that the festival commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan (c. 340–278 BC) of the ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty.[15] A cadet member of the Chu royal house, Qu served in high offices. However, when the king decided to ally with the increasingly powerful state of Qin, Qu was banished for opposing the alliance and even accused of treason.[15] During his exile, Qu Yuan wrote a great deal of poetry. Twenty-eight years later, Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. In despair, Qu Yuan died by suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River.


It is said that the local people, who admired him, raced out in their boats to save him, or at least retrieve his body. This is said to have been the origin of dragon boat races. When his body could not be found, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan's body. This is said to be the origin of zongzi.[15]


During World War II, Qu Yuan began to be treated in a nationalist way as "China's first patriotic poet". The view of Qu's social idealism and unbending patriotism became canonical under the People's Republic of China after 1949 Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War.



Tale vs. Reality: The cowherd and weaver girl couldn't meet annually - CGTN


Qixi Festival

Known as the 77 Festival because it's held on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, usually July-August. And also called Chinese Valentine's because it's based on the romantic legend of the The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. Thanks to @Darkarcana for telling us about this festival.



What are mooncakes? Behind the Mid-Autumn Festival treat


Autumn Festival (中秋節 Zhōng Qiū Jié)

Known as the Mooncake Festival as well as known as the Lantern Festival in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, it is similar to the Harvest Festivals held in other countries. Held on the 15th day of the 8th month with a full moon, usually mid-August.


Notable traditions include displaying lanterns and eating sweet mooncakes.


2 different versions of the the myth on why ppl came to celebrate Autumn Festival


The Myth

In China, the Mid-Autumn festival symbolizes the family reunion and on this day, all families will appreciate the moon in the evening, because it is the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest. There is a beautiful myth about the Mid-Autumn festival, that is Chang'e flying to the moon.

Offerings are also made to a more well-known lunar deity, Chang'e, known as the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The myths associated with Chang'e explain the origin of moon worship during this day. One version of the story is as follows, as described in Lihui Yang's Handbook of Chinese Mythology:[16]


In the ancient past, there was a hero named Hou Yi who was excellent at archery. His wife was Chang'e. One year, the ten suns rose in the sky together, causing great disaster to the people. Yi shot down nine of the suns and left only one to provide light. An immortal admired Yi and sent him the elixir of immortality. Yi did not want to leave Chang'e and be immortal without her, so he let Chang'e keep the elixir.


However, Peng Meng, one of his apprentices, knew this secret. So, on the fifteenth of August in the Chinese lunisolar calendar, when Yi went hunting, Peng Meng broke into Yi's house and forced Chang'e to give the elixir to him. Chang'e refused to do so. Instead, she swallowed it and flew into the sky. Since she loved her husband and hoped to live nearby, she chose the moon for her residence. When Yi came back and learned what had happened, he felt so sad that he displayed the fruits and cakes Chang'e liked in the yard and gave sacrifices to his wife. People soon learned about these activities, and since they also were sympathetic to Chang'e they participated in these sacrifices with Yi.


“when people learned of this story, they burnt incense on a long altar and prayed to Chang ‘e, now the goddess of the moon, for luck and safety. The custom of praying to the moon on Mid-Autumn Day has been handed down for thousands of years since that time."[17]


Alternate Version:

Handbook of Chinese Mythology also describes an alternate common version of the myth:[16]


After the hero Houyi shot down nine of the ten suns, he was pronounced king by the thankful people. However, he soon became a conceited and tyrannical ruler. In order to live long without death, he asked for the elixir from Xiwangmu. But his wife, Chang'e, stole it on the fifteenth of August because she did not want the cruel king to live long and hurt more people. She took the magic potion to prevent her husband from becoming immortal. Houyi was so angry when discovered that Chang'e took the elixir, he shot at his wife as she flew toward the moon, though he missed. Chang'e fled to the moon and became the spirit of the moon. Houyi died soon because he was overcome with great anger. Thereafter, people offer a sacrifice to Chang'e on every fifteenth day of eighth month to commemorate Chang'e's action.


Cr: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Autumn_Festival



Dongzhi Festival

The Winter Solstice Festival held in 2020 on Dec 22.

One of the most important festivals in East Asia, families will gather together to make and eat tangyuan (glutinous rice balls).


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On 11/30/2020 at 9:01 PM, ssteph said:

@NiteWalker I know those foods with different names. Zongzi is bachang, moon cake is tong cu pia/tong chiu pia, tangyuan is onde/ronde :smile:

My family still eat those foods. No much celebration anymore since the older generation (grandfather & grandmother) passed away.





yes those name u called are 'Hokkien' if i'm not wrong :)


are you from the Hokkien clan?


well i knows of those things is because i grew up with them :heart: i think we still know this...however our next generation of next generation might not be able to know it....if it is not pass down

On 11/30/2020 at 9:01 PM, ssteph said:

Also nian gao for Lunar New Year.


by the way you know the reason for Nian Gao? :cool:

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1 hour ago, ssteph said:

@NiteWalker I don't know what clan, only know my family surname hehehe...


Seem there are a lot of Hokkien descendants here so names and words are influenced by them...


What's with Nian Gao? It means "year cake"? :thinking:


Happy Dongzhi to you  :smile:



usually it will depends on the language your family speaks....thats how it determine which clang or as you call it the dialect one take after ....


im a pure Hokkien, both my parents are of Hokkien descents hahahhaa....


Nian Gao(Mandarin) - is Year Cake as you said or we called it 'Ti Kuih' in Hokkien


its usually means to serve the Kitchen God, cause usually we believe the Kitchen God will be the God to report what happening in the household to the God above, so to ensure that the Kitchen God doesnt report too much especially if there is a bad happening in the household, the household usually serve the Kitchen God with the Nian Gao as it a cake make of the sticky rice and with so much sticky rice in the mouse the Kitchen God wont be able to say much right hehehe





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