lots of rice and a cold hike

If you are living outside of Asia, you might not have known we celebrated Lunar New Year’s a couple of weeks ago.
In Korea, it is called 설날 – or Seolnal.
Lunar New Year’s is more important than the changing of the calendar year on January 1st.

For this holiday, families gather together.
The younger generation bows to the older generation.
The older generation typically gives kids money for luck in the new year.
And many families pay respects to their ancestors.
There is a traditional dduk, or rice cake, soup.  There are also a couple of sweets made from rice.

What did I do for this holiday?
Well, of course we had a big party at school on Friday for all of our kindergarten kids.
One of the other foreign teachers and I had to teach bowing – like we know how to bow better than the kids.  Haha.

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with two of the other foreign teachers, Shea and Abraham, in our hanbok

 

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intently listening to the presentation about 설날 traditions

 

Then, with three days, out of my five day weekend, I went with three friends up to Soraksan.
What is Soraksan, you might ask?
It’s a beautiful mountain in the north-east of South Korea.

On Saturday, we traveled, hiked all day Sunday, then traveled back on Monday.
We weren’t necessarily prepared for how much snow was there, but it was definitely worth it.
The climb was cold, at times painful (I may have fallen more than twice:), but the views were beautiful.
The company was not too bad either!

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Erin, Alisha, and Kirstin
quite the surprise to get off the bus to more snow than you’ve seen all year, yet be staring at the ocean!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmost of our walk was like this, snow and ice-covered – but also add in hills and stairs!

 

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view from part way up

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAErin, Kirstin, Alisha, and me on the top of Ulsanbawi Rock!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAabout to hike to the waterfall – which ended up being frozen

 

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from the waterfall “observatory” – you could see the ocean in the distance

 

much love!

 

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