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Lanterns float above Korean New Year's festivities...


Korean New Year, commonly known as Seolnal (Hangul: 설날; RR: Seolnal; MR: Sǒlnal), is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year's Day. Koreans also celebrate solar New Year's Day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. The Korean New Year holidays last three days, and is considered a more important holiday than the solar New Year's Day. [1]


The term "Seolnal" generally refers to Eum-nyeok Seolnal (음력설날, lunar new year), also known as Gujeong (Hangul: 구정; Hanja: 舊正). Less commonly, "Seolnal" also refers to Yang-nyeok Seolnal (양력설날, solar new year), also known as Sinjeong (Hangul: 신정; Hanja: 新正).


Korean New Year generally falls on the day of the second new moon after winter solstice, unless there is a very rare intercalary eleventh or twelfth month in the lead-up to the New Year. In such a case, the New Year falls on the day of the third new moon after the solstice (next occurrence will be 2033). Korean New Year is generally the same day as Chinese New Year, Mongolian New Year, Tibetan New Year and Vietnamese New Year. A commonly used Western name to describe this festival inclusively, although scientifically incorrect, is Lunar New Year.


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Taken on December 21, 2008