Learn About Korean Culture and Traditions

When traveling to Korea, it’s a good idea to learn about Korean culture and traditions. There are many things you can learn, from the language to the food and holidays. It’s also a good idea to learn about Korean etiquette and social customs, as these are often influenced by the country’s traditional values.


Korean food culture is full of traditions, and this is certainly true when it comes to food. One of these traditions is drinking soju, a strong fermented beverage, on the first full moon of the year to celebrate the coming spring. This drink was originally made of rice, but now it is also made from barley and sweet potatoes. The grain-based variety is considered superior to the rice-based variety, and many people prefer it.

Korean cuisine is colorful and full of bold flavors. From fried to pickled, there’s something for everyone in Korean cuisine. One of the most popular Korean dishes is ramen, which boasts more than 100 different varieties. Another famous dish is noorongi, a type of toasted rice cooked on the bottom of a pan. When added to hot water, it creates a soup.

Another traditional dish includes kimchi, which is fermented soy sauce and soybean paste mixed with vinegar. Kimchi is often served as a side dish. Another traditional dish is bibimbap, a dish consisting of rice, namul, kimchi (fermented vegetables), and egg.


Holidays in Korean culture are a significant part of their culture. Up until the mid-20th century, Korea was largely an agricultural society. The lunar calendar regulated the seasonal rhythms of daily life. In order to ensure abundant food and a good harvest, locals held semi-religious celebrations during key times of the year. Over time, these rituals morphed into communal celebrations and festivals.

The most important Korean holiday is Chuseok, which has been celebrated by Koreans for over two millennia. The festival is a time of family reunion, sharing food and drinks, and expressing gratitude to nature. Many local organizations organize festivals and celebrations around Chuseok, such as the Korean American Historical Society, the Korean Community Service Center, and the Edmonds Waterfront Center.

Another holiday that Koreans celebrate is Seollal, or Lunar New Year. In South Korea, this three-day celebration spans the day before, the day of, and the day after the lunar calendar. Families gather together to commemorate loved ones, pay respect to elders, and celebrate the lunar new year.

Popular culture

The popularity of Korean popular culture has expanded beyond its borders. It has attracted many fans from all over the world, and the country’s cultural achievements have helped the country win prestigious competitions worldwide. Korean literary works are being translated into many languages for global audiences. And Korean dance forms such as Dansaekhwa have become the talk of the global art world.

In 2000, a ban on the exchange of popular culture was partially lifted, and Hallyu began to spread throughout Southeast Asia. It was particularly popular in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In the same year, the Korean government liberalized its media, and the country’s cultural industry began to gain international recognition.

Popular culture in Korea has also been a catalyst for economic growth and development in the country. The country’s President Kim Dae-Jung pushed for the development of information technology and popular culture as a way to diversify its economy. Although traditional manufacturing has long been Korea’s mainstay, popular culture could become the next big export and help the country to rebrand itself.


Etiquette in Korean culture focuses on respecting authority and hierarchy. For example, Koreans usually refer to people by their formal titles instead of their given names. They also avoid using first names for close friends, as they consider it childish. And they never refer to their social superiors by their first names.

When giving a gift, Koreans extend both hands forward. The giver should then wait for the receiver to accept the gift before presenting it. Similarly, they do not open presents in front of the giver, but in another room. If you are giving a food gift, for example, it is better to take it to the kitchen instead of opening it in front of the person receiving it.

Drinking in Korean culture also has specific etiquette rules. While drinking, Koreans always remember to pour others’ glasses first. This is considered rude and you should always wait for someone else to do so.