You drop a ball? We hit a bell🔔

(This post is from Legit Korean Says, my email newsletter about legit Korean things. Subscribe to get it to your inbox below.)

korea new year bell

Happy New Year, brave Korean learners!

This is the first Legit Korean Says of New Year! We all can agree that this year is gonna be much better than 2020, right? I mean, how can it not? (Update: Oh, Sorry, I was wrong.)

🔔 Ball drop? Bell hit!

In Korea, we hit big bells at midnight on New Year's Eve, instead of dropping a ball. A few people are chosen to hit a bell throughout the country and the crowd gather around it. (No kissing, but chanting countdown and taking pics) They hit bells 33 times which means praying for people's well-being. But this year, there was no actual bell hit because of pandemic. (img cred: Maeil Ilbo)

🌅 Sunset & Sunrise

Another thing that Koreans do on New Year's Eve is flocking to watch the 해넘이(sunset) on New Year's Eve and the 해돋이(sunrise) of the first day of New Year. There are some famous & beautiful sunset/sunrise spots including Sungsan Ilchulbong in Jeju island and Jeongdongjin in Gangneung. Every year, the spots are very crowded except for this year. 

😵 Koreans just got one year older altogether

Do you know about Korean age? It's one of the strangest traditions that 모든(all) Koreans get one year older on the first day of a new year. Let's say that a Korean was born at 23:59 on December 31st in 2020. The minute the baby was born, he turns 1.(weird) And when the bell hits, the baby turns 2 because we have to get one year older altogether.(weirder) Though many young Koreans try to fix this, it's quite hard to break the decades-old rule. 

kdrama penthouse

🤑 Biggest-hit K-Drama has ended this week: Penthouse

Penthouse, the biggest-hit K-Drama this year, ended this week. The drama is about rich & evil people who're living in the most expensive apartment in Seoul. The series is loved by Koreans because it covers dirty aspects of Korea including real estate speculation and school corruption in can't-take-eyes-off and humorous way. But Koreans are not really sad about the end because season 2 and 3 will come. You can watch the summary of the 1st episode here. (👩‍🏫 For Korean learners: you'll learn a lot of sentences like 죽여버릴거야(I'll kill you) and 절대 용서할 수 없어!(I won't ever forgive you!))

🏫 Korean speaking community, Gisugsa, just opended!

A Discord community for brave Korean learners opened! Gisugsa means a hall/house/dormitory in Korean. The goal is for you to come here and speak at least one Korean sentence a day. I made some voice and text channels where you can practice Korean and hang out with me and others. It will be my big pleasure if you join. It's been just 16 hours since opening and already 145 people joined. Don't be scared. You're safe to speak stupid Korean here :)

🎧 Weekly podcast, The Legit Korean

In the latest episode, you'll learn how to countdown in Korean and a little bit about Korean number. You'll also hear about 3 Korean New Year's traditions including the food we must eat on January 1st. Listen to my podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more!



👩‍🏫 3 Korean words in this letter

해넘이 /haeneomi/ sunset, 해돋이 /haedoji/ sunrise, 모든 /modeun/ all

다음주에 만나요! See you next week. Have a safe and great week!

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