A Korean Lunar New Year

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Lunar New Year (LNY for short here) was in the month of February this year. So we decided to do something touristy and take a well rested break from shopping! Mind you, it took a great feat of effort to take photos in the cold since my fingers were being frozen inside my gloves. :(

Since usually three days leading up to LNY most things are closed, we were a bit worried when planning that we probably won’t be able to do anything since all the preparations will be for spending time with family and eating lots of yummy food.

What a typical LNY feast looks like. Delicious!

What will we doooo?! But lucky for us, there are some traditional places in Seoul that are opened all year round (even for free!) and during special times like this, all the folk cultural activities were being held. Fantastic! We spent our day visiting Namsangol Hanok Village and Korea House, both located conveniently close to each other.

Namsangol Hanok Village
Just making it on time for the performances at Namsangol Hanok Village, the performances included traditional fan dancing as well as drumming.
The main courtyard of the Hanok Village had the most activities where visitors can play traditional games, giant Jenga and do arts and craft workshops.
For a small fee, the arts and craft activities let’s you make traditional themed projects with an instructor. We made these paper outfit cards.

Namsangol also has a small art museum filled with beautiful Korean folk art which I appreciated since I really enjoy asian art. But NOTHING excited me more than when I saw this:

I don’t know why this was so special to me when I saw it!! I see this all the time in dramas where the couple makes a wish on a piece of paper and ties it to a tree. Even in some high school dramas/animes they have these scenes where they write something significant on paper that they wish will come true. And now I get to do it! 8 years of waiting!! LOL But I won’t tell you what it was! teehee ;)

Talyssa’s turn to tie her wish.
Namsangol also has a very large pond in the middle of the grounds. It’ll look great sitting under the pagoda patio in the spring/summer time!
Just outside Namsangol you can find some food stalls that sell street food and taiyaki!! (I’m not sure what it’s called in Korean ><)
Nearly time to go to Korean House. But before that we went out to eat meat! Our efforts not to smell like we just came out of Korean BBQ failed when we found out the dish we ordered came with a gas stove. Eep
Korea House
The traditional performances at Korea House were such a treat! When we went inside the performance hall it was such a beautifully decorated theater with live percussion and string orchestra pits on the sides it felt so intimate, like a private session!
Cudos to the art director! CONFESSION. I can be superficial when it comes to the looks of things. Glasses, engagement rings, book covers… but the performance visuals were just LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I loved it!! Each performance had it’s own stage effect like fog machine, lighting arrangement, BG change and props.

How to get to:

Namsangol Hanok Village

Take the train to Chungmuro Station on Line 3 or 4. From Exit 4 walk along Hanongmaeul-gil st. for 5 minutes.

Operating days

Apr-Oct: 09:00-21:00
Nov-Mar: 09:00-20:00

Closed every Tuesday (except if the Tuesday is a holiday, it is closed the next day)

Korea House
Take the train to Chungmuro Station on Line 3 or 4. From Exit 3 it’s very close from the exit.

Open all year round.

Traditional performances:
18:30-19:30 (first show) / 20:30-21:30 (second show)

There are other cultural programs to do besides the performances which you can book online.

Website: www.koreahouse.or.kr 

 

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