Tuesday, January 24, 2012

설날, or Seollal

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Seollal is the Lunar New Year, Korea's first or second most important holiday, and its main harbinger is the appearance of domi girls in brightly-colored hanbok at your local E-Mart.

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They are there to hawk gift boxes of various goods, as Korean tradition dictates that you don't return to your hometown empty-handed, apparently even if it means bringing socks:

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Other popular gifts include towels, hair care products and especially Spam:

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Here are a few other items:

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The prices of Seollal gifts can vary immensely, from a few thousand won for dried fish to a hundred bucks or more for mushrooms and 500,000 W for the package of three ginseng roots below:

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I lopped the price off the ginseng, so you'll have to trust me that it was 500,000 W--I'm not 100% with my new camera, and assumed the data bar along the bottom was just covering the bottom part of the picture. Live and learn.

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