How To Say Happy Lunar New Year In Korean

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How to Say Happy Lunar New Year in Korean: A Guide to Seollal Greetings

As the festive season of Lunar New Year approaches, embracing the cultural traditions of different communities enriches our global tapestry. For those eager to extend heartfelt greetings to their Korean friends and loved ones, let’s delve into the vibrant language of Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year.

Seollal: A Time for Family and Renewal

Seollal is a pivotal holiday in the Korean calendar, celebrated with great fervor and joy. It signifies a time for renewal, honoring ancestors, and gathering with family to share cherished moments. The festivities often span over three days, each marked by its unique customs and traditions.

Expressing Seollal Greetings

1. 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (saehae bok mani badeuseyo)

The most common and widely recognized Lunar New Year greeting in Korean is “새해 복 많이 받으세요” (saehae bok mani badeuseyo). It literally translates to “May you receive many blessings in the new year.” This warm and auspicious wish conveys hopes for a prosperous and fulfilling year ahead.

2. 설날 복 많이 드립니다 (seollal bok mani deurimnida)

Another popular Seollal greeting, “설날 복 많이 드립니다” (seollal bok mani deurimnida), is often used in more formal settings. It denotes a sense of respect and well-wishing towards the recipient, extending the blessings of the Lunar New Year season.

Understanding Seollal Traditions and Customs

  1. Sebae (Ancestral Rites): Seollal begins with Sebae, a significant ritual where family members pay homage to their ancestors. They offer food, tea, and rice cakes at the family altar, expressing gratitude and seeking blessings for the new year.

  2. Traditional Games: During Seollal, families engage in various traditional games that bring joy and laughter. Yutnori, a board game played with sticks, and tuho, a game where arrow-like sticks are tossed into a jar, are popular pastimes.

  3. Hanbok and Food: The festival is celebrated in traditional Korean attire called Hanbok. Families gather for elaborate meals that include tteokguk (rice cake soup), mandu (dumplings), and japchae (glass noodles). These dishes represent health, prosperity, and good fortune.

Tips for Meaningful Seollal Greetings

  1. Sincerity and Respect: When exchanging Seollal greetings, it’s essential to convey genuine sincerity and respect. Speak clearly and make eye contact, and consider adding a small gift or gesture to express your well wishes.

  2. Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of the cultural significance of Seollal traditions and customs. Understand the meaning behind each greeting and practice it appropriately to avoid any misinterpretations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Seollal

Q: When is Seollal celebrated?
A: Seollal typically falls in late January or early February, based on the lunar calendar.

Q: What are some popular Seollal foods?
A: Tteokguk, mandu, japchae, and samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) are among the most beloved Seollal dishes.

Q: Why is Sebae significant during Seollal?
A: Sebae is a sacred ritual that honors ancestors and deepens family bonds. It signifies respect for the past and seeks blessings for the future.


Embracing the Lunar New Year brings a wonderful opportunity to connect with different cultures and traditions. By extending heartfelt Seollal greetings in Korean, we can share in the joy and renewal that this festive season brings. Whether you’re a native speaker or simply eager to express your well wishes, let’s spread the spirit of Seollal with warmth and sincerity.

Would you like to explore more fascinating aspects of the Korean Lunar New Year? Share your thoughts and interests, and let us continue the conversation!

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