Korea is celebrating Seollal, the Lunar New Year, today. It is a very traditional holiday marked by a mass migration out of the cities toward ancient homelands in the surrounding rural hills. The Koreans pay homage to their ancestors and spend the day with their elders. Some still wear traditional garb and the country is practically swimming in a traditional rice cake soup called Tteokguk. They are a wonderfully traditional people.
Also, according to my Korean friends - and to the dismay of many local Western females - today is our lunar birthday and we have all turned one year older. Luckily, westerners are not required to age again on our biological birthdays! (Korean age reckoning is interesting, by and by. They count conception as the beginning of life - newborns are thus considered to be one year old.)
2012 is the Year of the Dragon and hence promises hope and courage. (Fortune and superstition are also important to Koreans.) So, in the customary manner, I say: saehae bok mani badeuseyo - Receive many New Year blessings.