Christmas - Korean style (2010)
Ask your average Korean to name the December 25th holiday, and all but the youngest child will be able to tell you the correct answer. Ask them what holiday happened on December 1-9 (Hanukkah), on December 21st (Yule), or will happen on December 26th to January 1st (Kwanzaa), and you'll probably get a puzzled look. With respect to these winter holidays, I'll primarily refer to the most common winter holiday celebrated in Korea.
Um, what happened Santa? Stay out too late on Christmas Eve and Mrs. Claus sent you to sleep on the sofa?
Although a distinctly Western holiday, Korea sees both the secular and Christian side to this wintry day off. As with Western countries, the commercial aspect of the day is far from overlooked:
A Myeongdong makeup and beauty store in Seoul decks out its four-floor building.
In case it's not clear from the picture, our man Santa holds a few bottles of my favorite carbonated beverage. A similar icon rests on either side of each of the huge media screens along Gangnam's main drag.
If you've enjoyed the sights and scenes of Myeongdong, you may have seen the Migliore dance stage near the subway station. This stage converts quite nicely into a photo op - the crimson-red velvet settee holds an entire family in most pictures.
Classy and cute.
Gangnam's main drag, complete with ample ads. I suppose you'll see ads in most every commercial area of Korea, but this area seems to take the cake.
Set up near Suwon station outside the Aekyung Department Store, this sight was a wonder to walk to as well as see.
Never had Santa pegged as much of a cook, yet here he is with cake in hand (for the good kids) and wooden spoon (for the bad kids).
Merry Christmas / Yule / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa, everyone.
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