Korea (as well as China, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and many Asian countries) celebrate two New Years’– one on Jan. 1 and the Lunar New Year celebration.
This year the Lunar holiday falls on Thursday February 15 to Saturday February 17 (Korea time).
In Asian tradition, each Lunar new year has an associated animal, as well as a related element and color such as fire (red), water (black), earth (yellow/gold), metal (white) and wood (blue), all which rotate over a 60 year cycle.
And as examples, we see Lunar years’ referred to as Red (Fire) Monkey, Black (Water) Snake, White (Metal) Dragon, etc. and this year Golden (Earth) Dog.
Adding some significance to 2018, Gold is also the color of royalty and many feel adds to even more good fortune.
For us working with Korean teams, it’s a great time to re-connect.
For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them “Happy Lunar New Year” by phone, text, or email, late afternoon on Tuesday February 13th (so, Wednesday AM in Korea, which is their last day in office prior to Holiday).
For expat Koreans working outside Korea/ globally, or in your local operations, you can wish then Happy Lunar New Year on Friday February 16 (in the West).
Here is the formal greeting–Sae hae bok mani ba deu say yo
Give it a try. You will find it will be greatly appreciated.
Question, just reach out to me … Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com
Oh, BTW Korean has a twist on Valentine’s Day! This week women give men small chocolate gifts.
No worries, Koreans’ celebrate a White Holiday in 30 days where men give women sugary treats.
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