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List of Public Holidays in South Korea

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Most of the holidays in South Korea have fixed dates but some are as per the Lunar Calendar. Traditional Festivals in Korea as celebrated as per the Lunar Calendar where as other holidays are decided as per the Solar Calendar. In all there are around 10 public holidays in Korea. But because Seollal and Chuseok are the biggest holidays in Korea, some offices give their employees a 3 day off, thus totaling to around 14 holidays a year.

During official public holidays bank and offices are closed, but department stores, restaurants, museums, palaces and parks are open. Stores and businesses in Korea are typically open on weekends and on public holidays, but most of them are closed on holidays like Seollal and Chuseok.

Here goes the list of Public Holidays in South Korea:

1) New Year’s Day / Sinjeong – January 1 – (1 day off)

2) Korean New Year’s Day / Seollal – 1st day of the 1st lunar month (3 days off)
It is the most important holiday in Korea. People wish each other by saying – Sae Hae Bok Manhi Baduseyo (May this New Year brings you a lot of luck).

3) Declaration Day / Samiljeol – March 1 – (1 day off)
On March 1, 1919 Korea declared it’s nations independence from Imperial Japan. This day is also known as Independence Movement Day.

4) Childrens Day / Eorininal – May 5 – (1 day off)
This day is dedicated to Kids. You will see all the public places and parks full of kids with their parents. There are various contest and fun events organized for Kids at places like Insa Dong, Ganghwamun, Chongyecheon etc.

5) Buddha’s Birthday / Seokgatansinil – 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month – (1 day off)
This is the time to visit the famous Buddhist Temples in Korea and be a part of various celebrations including the Lantern Parade at the Jogyesa Temple.

6) Memorial Day / Hyeonchung-il – June 6 – (1 day off)
The day commemorates the men and women who died while in military service or in the independence movement. On this day, a national commemoration ceremony is held in Seoul National Cemetery.

7) Liberation Day / Gwangbokjeol – August 15 – (1 day off)
The Government of the Republic of Korea was established on 15th August 1948. (This day collides with the Indian Independence Day and the Indian Embassy in Korea too celebrates this day with the Indian Community in Korea).

8) Korean Thanks Giving Day / Chuseok – 15th day of the 8th Lunar month – (3 days off)
Chuseok is the Korean Traditional Harvest Festival celebrated in Korea. It is a tradition to exchange gifts on this day. Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns during Chuseok. So it is not a good idea to plan your travel during the Chuseok days as the roads of Seoul are congested. A lot of things do happen in Seoul to attract foreigners especially at the Seoul Grand Park and Everland Theme Park.

9) National Foundation Day / Gaecheonjeol – October 3 – (1 day off)

10) Christmas Day / Gidoktansinil – December 25 – (1 day off)

Apart from the holidays mentioned above, some offices in South Korea also give summer vacation to their employees mostly during the month of August. One is entitled to take a week off from work, but please be informed that the leaves you take for your summer vacation will get deducted from your year quota of leaves as decided by your employer.

This is the time to visit the famous Buddhist Temples in Korea and be a part of various celebrations including the Lantern Parade at the Jogyesa Temple.

Please note: The smiley that you notice is actually number 8 followed by a closing parenthesis. But this webpage is recognizing it to be a smiley (when I view it in Google Chrome). Serendipitous.



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