Questions & Answers

Food Eating

Why is it so special to eat rice cake soup on New Year's Day?

"Today, one can eat tteokguk (rice cake soup) all year round, but in the past, it was not so readily available to most people. Ingredients include classic garaetteok, or a long tubular rice cake, which is sliced, and a hearty beef or vegetable stock. The soup is then served in a colorful way with jidan, or assorted toppings, made from eggs, mushroom, green onion, or ginkgo nuts. All these ingredients might be common these days but when Korea was a poorer, agricultural society, tteokguk was considered to be a fancy and highly nutritious treat, reserved for big holidays. Garaetteok, for one thing, requires a lot of white rice, the most desired staple food in Korea, and beef soup and eggs were once too expensive for everyday meals. Consequently, eating tteokguk came to symbolise a prosperous start to the New Year so having some on that day has a special meaning which it doesn't on other days."

Added to that, "One way of asking someone's age, especially to children, is "How many years have you eaten?" The word left off is tteokguk, with the implication that since tteokguk is eaten only once a year, the number of bowls one has consumed matches one's age. The traditional day for eating tteokguk is New Year's, very traditionally the lunar rather than solar New Year. Koreans count age from conception and everyone becomes a year older on New Year's Day, not on the actual birthday (although birthdays are celebrated, especially by older people in the country by inviting friends for home-made dduk and mokkollee)."



Banking

Children/Families

Communication Services

Culture

Driving in Korea

General Info

Getting Around

Government Regs

Health

Housing

Immigration

Money Matters

Security

Shopping

Teaching in Korea

Travel in Korea

Working Conditions

The Simon and Garfunkel Story Dinner Show, 29 Dec 2017, Songpa-gu, SeoulFree Tickets Draws for Seoul Jeonju and Daegu Shows / Discounts also available for K4E Visitors
Ronn Branton Jazz Christmas Concert, 24 Dec 2017, Jongno-gu1st floor 10% discount / 2nd floor 15% discount for K4E visitors.
At the Movies This Week - SeoulClick here for a list of English language/subtitled movies and where they are playing in Seoul. For...
Advertisement
TCIS Taejon Christian International School,1 Nov 2017
Korea International School-KIS, PK-12 English, Pangyo, Gyeonggi-do
JZ Associate
Seoul Foreign School, K-12 English School, Seodaemun, Seoul
A Plus Dental
I want to convert
Helpul telephone numbers seoul korea
Directory
Cocoonfice, Business Center, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
KoreanClass101 - An online Korean learning system
EnglishClass101 - An online English learning system