The Holiday That Wasn’t – Christmas in South Korea

By Marcello Kolax

If you greet the special season with a rumpled face, then South Korea might be right place for you. Christmas in South Korea is often celebrated as a day for young couples, not family, and wine bars or romantic restaurants are booked out well in advance.

But if you are on your own, why not join the crowds flocking to the bars. Since Christmas is a relatively new event, it is open to interpretation. Korea’s first president Rhee Syng-man, a Methodist, introduced Christmas as a national holiday in 1945. Since then, many ideas of how Christmas should be celebrated have evolved.

Lights of the season: This year's Busan Christmas Tree Festival will be held from December 1, 2011 to January 9, 2012. (Picture by Min Hye Kim)

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