Because I failed to have my post up yesterday, I'm throwing in another for today to make up of the lost day of learning you all suffered. Today we will learn about Santa Haraboji, the Santa of South Korea. Because Western culture and Christianity are still fairly new in Korea, many of their celebrations are the same as what we do here or what Europeans do. They do have their own version of Santa. His name is Santa Haraboji, or Grandfather Santa. He sometimes appears looking like our Santa, but he can also appear in a traditional Korean gat (the hat he is wearing) and of course, his features are Asian. Christmas is called Sung Tan Jul.
This time of year in Korea, people are mostly doing the same things that we do here. One of the differences is, Korean cards are less expensive than ours and feature Korean landscapes, outdoor scenes or other artwork. Instead of Merry Christmas, most say Seasons Greetings so as to be accepted more widely by the population of mostly Buddhists. Korea is in fact, the only Eastern Asian nation to recognize Christmas as public holiday.
One of other main difference is their delicious food! Christmas dinner in Korea isn't ham and potatoes like we have. They are likely to have sweet potato noodles, rice cake soup, bulgogi (barbecued beef) and gimchi (spicy pickled cabbage).
Lastly, because Christmas is largely a religious holiday there as opposed to the tradition other countries have with gift-givers, only some Korean families put up a Christmas tree. There is less fanfare and decoration involved. Overall, it sounds like a fun and tasty way to celebrate! 메리 크리스마스!