This Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Korea celebrates the Lunar New Year, which will be celebrated in China as the Year of the Tiger. As well as in China and Korea, the Lunar New Year is observed in Viet Nam, where it’s known as Tet. Many Americans will remember the (in)famousTet Offensive of 1968 during the Viet Nam War. Here in Korea the holiday is known as Seollal, and it’s one of the two big annual events, the other being Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok.


I won’t be doing anything special, probably just hanging around the apartment. It’s been raining since about the beginning of the week, but the forecast calls for clear to partly cloudy skies throughout the holiday. If it’s not too chilly, I might take my new bike out for a spin. I think because of the weather and the approaching long weekend, many of my students cut class today. As a matter of fact, no one showed up for my 6:30 p.m. Beginner class, usually a dependable group. So, I got out half an hour earlier than usual (I always wait a while before calling it quits, in case of late arrivals).

Earlier this afternoon, I went shopping for groceries at the local E-Mart, hoping to beat the rush. Fuhgeddaboudit! The place was packed. Luckily, I had a meager list of items to get and knew where to find everything. I grabbed what I needed, found a short line at one of the check-out counters and fought my way to the exit. A couple of other teachers were headed for E-Mart after their classes tonight–I wished them good luck.

In addition to having Monday off, we start a 10-day vacation beginning Saturday the 20th. Usually, it’s only 9 days, but Monday, March 1st, is Independence Movement Day, another national holiday; thus, the extra day off. Looking forward to a bit of down time. More later.