Spending Christmas in Seoul

The semester is nearly over! How quick the time has flown. For some of you, you are preparing to leave Chung-Ang and Korea to go back home to continue your studies, but for others, you will be continuing on with your Chung-Ang journey next semester. So, the holidays are coming up and I am sure you are wondering how you are going to spend Christmas and how Christmas differs in Korea than to your home country. Well, fear not as in today’s article, I will be giving you guys some tips on where to go and what to do for Christmas in Seoul.

Christmas in Korea is more of a couple orientated holiday rather than being about spending time with family. Unlike other Asian countries, Christmas is classed as a national holiday as many Koreans are Christians so for those of you who are also Christian, you will have no problems finding Christmas services in churches. If Christmas lights brighten up your day then you can head to various places in Seoul such as Myeongdong and Dongdaemun to see spectacular lights and Christmas trees.

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Places to Visit During the Christmas Period

  • One Mount (Hallyuworld-ro, 300, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang, Gyeonggi)
    • Although it is available year round, Christmas is the perfect time to visit the Snow Park here which has a Santa village, snow hill, dog sled, indoor ice rink and more.
    • For those of you who are BTS fans, this place is where BTS filmed an episode of Run and is also located in Namjoon’s hometown of Ilsan.
  • Lotte World Christmas Festival (240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu)
    • Runs November 10th – December 31st
    • Includes a ‘Miracle Santa Village’, large Christmas tree and a Christmas parade that happens daily at 2 and 8pm.
    • Buy tickets when you arrive at Lotte World (a lot of times, Lotte World offers discount to foreigners too so take your passport to save some money).
  • Everland Christmas Fantasy (199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do)
    • Runs November 11th – December 31st
    • Includes a 500 meter long “Christmas Avenue, Ever Milky Way” that has 120,000 LED lights.
    • Also has a Christmas Parade complete with artificial snow.
    • Similar to Lotte World, Everland often has discounted tickets for foreigners if purchased in person.

      Christmas Markets in Seoul

      • European Christmas Market (Seongbokcheon Fountain Square, 23, Opaesan-ro, 16-gil, Seongbuk-gu)
        • December 8th and 9th 2018 (12pm-7pm)
        • Here you can find food and ornaments from different European countries along with performances on the day.
      • Kintex Christmas Fair (217-60 Kintex-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do)
        • December 7-9 2018.
        • The largest Christmas fair in Korea.
        • Here you can stock up on decorative supplies, foods and more.

          Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 17.16.29

          2018 European Christmas Market poster. Photo credit -https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanChristmasMarket/

      Ice Skating/Sledding

      • Grand Hyatt Seoul Ice Skating Rink (322, Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul)
        • Dates: Still to be announced so keep checking this website: here
      • Olympic Park Ice Rink (424, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul)
        • Dates: Still to be announced so keep checking their website: here
      • MBC Plaza Sangam (267, Seongam-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul)
        • Dates: December 21st 2018 – February 6th Check their website for updates here
      • Lotte World Ice Rink (240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu)
        • Dates: Open year round
      • One Mount (Hallyuworld-ro, 300, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang, Gyeonggi)
        • Dates: Open year round

          mbc

          MBC Plaza Ice Rink. Photo credit -http://www.mbcskate.com/index.html

      Korean Foods to Eat Over Winter

      • 호떡 (hotteok) is a Korean pancake usually filled with brown sugar, honey, peanuts and cinnamon but nowadays you can find various fillings such as Oreo and green tea hotteok. You can find these on the streets of Seoul and they are always served hot meaning it can keep you warm as you walk around.
      • 군밤 (gunbam) and 군고구마 (gun goguma) are roasted chestnuts and roasted sweet potatoes which again you can find nearly everywhere as the colder weather settles in.
      • 떡볶이 (ttokpokki) is another great street food. 떡볶이 are spicy rice cakes and very well known in Korea. Although 떡볶이 is eaten year round, it is very common to eat it during the winter months as the spicy snack can make you sweat and make your body warm.
      • 만두국 (manduguk) and 떡국 (ddeokguk) are both soups. 만두국 is a dumpling soup and 떡국 is a rice cake soup that will be sure to warm you up after a day out in the cold. You can also order 떡만구국 (ddok-mandu-guk) which contains both dumplings and rice cakes!
      seeds-hotteok-507690_1280

      호떡 (Korean sweet pancake)

      Now is also a great time to mention the CAU Winter Program that runs in January for two weeks. During the winter program, you will have 10 Korean Language Classes (Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced) along with 5 special lectures and 5-6 Korean Exploration Programs! It is not too late to sign up for this year’s program so head over to cauwinter.com for more information!

      I hope this blog post has helped give you ideas on how to spend Christmas in Korea and hopefully the weather is not getting too cold for you all!

 

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