Happy Korean New Year as a Korean myeoneuri (daughter-in-law)

2021.01.04

Hello internet, let’s talk about the fact that the moon calendar makes no sense to us Gregorians! Haha maybe another time, for now let’s just discuss Korean Lunar New Year. Koreans celebrate the Lunar New Year in a celebration called Seollal (설날). This was my first Seollal as a 며느리 (daughter-in-law) so everyone made a big fuss, or maybe I was just imagining things. Traditionally, 며느리’s are supposed to wait on each man’s beckon call and prepare copious amounts of food for the family, as well as clean everything. Fortunately, this was my first time as a daughter-in-law so I just sat there and smiled and made my husband help the women in the kitchen. It’s 2020, y’all!

On New Year’s day (Sat 25th Jan 2020), we ate rice cake soup (떡국) and a yummy eggy pancake. We also had lots of crustaceans and a variety of rural style side dishes. I celebrated Seollal in Yeosu, my husband’s hometown. The food and flavours in Yeosu are different to other parts of Korea. They like very salty side dishes and consume a lot of seafood. Some flavours are too strong for my weak little Australian palate, so I just shamelessly pick at the dishes with the most sugar.

We also ate steamed pork ribs (갈비찜) and sweet potato noodles (잡채) on New Year’s Day! We paid visits to all grandparents and did our New Year’s bows for good luck and great health. This was my first time bowing in Korea! When you bow on New Year’s Day, you have to say ‘새해 복 많이 받으세요’, which is like saying ‘I hope you receive lots of luck in the new year’.

This holiday went by so quickly but here are some pictures that I managed to snap. Whenever I pull out my phone to take pictures of food, I still feel like such a tourist in this country. I hope you had a great new year, how did you spend yours? Does your country celebrate the lunar new year?

 

Sweet potato noodles (잡채), Steamed pork ribs (갈비찜) and Kimchi (feat. Danbi the puppy)

 

Fresh kimchi, samjang sauce, garlic and a vinegary soup moment.

 

Close up of the steamed pork ribs (갈비찜)

 

A beautiful door

 

No strawberry can out-strawberry a Korean strawberry

 

A spotty train while we waited for our ride to Yeosu. The New Year’s festivities were happening during the start of the corona virus outbreak, so masks were necessary!

 

Korean New Year Pancakes with crab, spinach and other yummy things.

 

My stomach gets angry at me if I eat too much Korean food. It’s like ‘ummm, why haven’t you been eating any cake or complex carbohydrates?’ Go to a cafe immediately and give us the sugar and caffeine we deserve.

 

 

 

Mokkoji Korea Influencer
Johanna Quinn

designer by day / blogger by night

Hello, I’m Johanna aka Korean Picnic aka an industrial designer living and working in South Korea. I work at a startup as a UX/UI designer, I make YouTube videos at late hours of the night and I also take pictures and write words to go with them here on my blog. Oh, and I also draw doodles and share them online. Clearly I have no sense of purpose, motivation or skills!

I started Jo So Ko as a way to chronicle my study abroad semester at KAIST in 2017. Prior to that, I documented my travels to Japan on a blog called Jopan and obviously had to keep the name-country portmanteau situation alive.

Three years later, I’m still here chronicling my life, albeit a much different one, in South Korea. What was once filled with campus life photos and weekend trips around Korea is now full of adventures with my husband and advice about starting your career overseas. I can’t wait to see how my journey with South Korea, the Korean language and my career in Korea all continue to bloom in the coming years.