What happy days are the ones that we enjoy in christmas. Presents, big meals with the family, snowmans, no more exam. We have come across the whole year to finally have the rest that we deserve in these last days of the year. Also, to sum up the year, we make one last celebration, saying bye and at the same time hello to the year that is coming next. That is of course the 31st of December and the 1st of January. But, that is not in Korea.
I am telling you my experience, which is the experience of a guy coming from The Basque Country. The “Gabon zahar” and “Urte berri eguna,” the last day of the year and the first one in my language, are a real big deal in my country, as well as in the rest of Europe. We celebrate the last day of the year having a meal all the family together, then, in the last seconds of the year, we eat 12 grapes to have good luck in the year that follows, and finally, we hit directly to spend the first hour of the year, throwing rockets with a craze, make get away all the dogs around. After the adrenaline of feeling as if you were in a combat zone, shooting missiles to defend your house, when the cheap champagne that you have been drinking since 10 A.M. hits you at its highest point, that is when you dress up with your best suit, and you go to dance. The thought morning that follows that, seeing those photos of you with the tie on your head, telling God knows what to that girl who was not paying attention to you, it all comes to end up with you, again, in a familiar meal. In this meal, the twenty-fourth meal that you have had in the last six day. It is all against you. Those distant relatives with whom you did not have much of a relationship, have already gained confidence in you, and there are no longer shy to give way the classic little questions of, “what a face you have what would you do last night?,” and your typical uncle saying what is not appropriate to write in this article. Then, we have done it, we are in a new year. You, that you are still processing 2016, you find yourself living in a year that you expected that cars would fly, that by then you would be a millionaire, a successful how knows what, with only difference that you are a bit older, and that you can not afford the price of the gas (just as well as you can not pay for the car itself).
However, all of this changes when you come to Korea. Although you find yourself a bit sad, emptying that Soju bottle alone on the 31st because very few people celebrate the new year on European day in Korea, you are still in luck. Koreans will provide you with a joyful celebration on the 22nd of January, The Lunar New Year! All the streets of Seoul are full of lights, street shows, fun activities and so on, and you can always rely on Hongdae to have fun. However, the best by far for a foreigner is that they do not just have a couple of weeks left of school. Koreans stop their lesson for a, sit before reading it, two months and a half of vacation. Unbelievable in Europe. That is the type of culture that I want to export back to my country.
Although it gets very cold in Korea these days, you will always find something fun to do here. We may not be able to celebrate it in our way, but Koreans will always make their way to impress you in a very positive way, enjoying things that you would never enjoy elsewhere.
Roh Hye-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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