El Año Nuevo Lunar (Seollal), que se festeja el primero de enero del calendario lunar, es la fiesta tradicional más importante de Corea.
En esta fecha, es costumbre realizar el charye y visitar a los familiares mayores para intercambiar buenos deseos. Se le dice charye al ritual ancestral conmemorativo que se lleva a cabo en el santuario, y sebae es un saludo formal que hacen los menores hacia los mayores de la familia en muestra de respeto. En Corea también es una costumbre tradicional comer tteokguk (sopa con pastelitos de arroz) en este día, así como realizar varios juegos como yutnori (lanzamiento de palos al aire) y neolttwigi (balancín). Sin embargo, en la actualidad, la celebración del Seollal se centra, más que nada, en la realización del sebae y deokdam (palabras sabias que dan los mayores a los menores después de recibir el sebae).
Dano falls on the 5th day of the fifth month of the lunar Korean calendar and involves a ritual in which people wish for a good harvest after planting crops.
On Dano people eat Surichitteok, Ssuktteok,(both are herb rice cakes), and Angdu Hwachae (a cherry punch). Traditionally women washed their hair in changpo(iris) water and wore new clothes and changpo ornamental hairpins. This custom is called Danojang. On this day, people enjoy folk games such as swings, Ssireum (Korean wrestling), archery, and other physical activities.
Chuseok falls on the 15th day of August according to the lunar calendar and is also known as Gabae, Gawee, Hangawi or Jungchujeol.
Families practice an ancestral memorial ceremony called Charye by filling a table with food such as newly harvested rice and Songpyeon (a traditional rice cake which is made with finely ground fresh rice). Seongmyo (visiting ancestral graves and making a formal bow of gratitude) and Beolcho (trimming the grass and pulling out the weeds that have grown on and around ancestral graves) are performed during this holiday period. Traditional folk games include Ganggangsulae (a traditional game in which women hold hands and dance in circles, singing “Ganggangsullae.”), Sonori (a series of ox-related activities), Bull-fighting, and Gama Ssaum (a palanquin game). With the rapid industrialization of Korea, traditional ceremonies have become less commonly performed, but many Koreans continue to visit their hometowns to celebrate the day with their families.
Hansik falls on the 105th day after Dongzhi (April 5 by the Gregorian calendar).
It derives from an ancient Chinese practice in which people ate cold food while not using fire for a period of time. On this day, like other major holidays, people perform ancestral rituals and Seongmyo. Hansik often coincides with Arbor Day (April 5 by the Gregorian calendar). Since this time of year is the most suitable for planting trees, April 5 is now known as Arbor Day.