How Koreans Celebrate New Year's | 2023
Here's a list of New Year's celebrations in Korea for 2023 & recommendations for activities to enjoy for the rest of winter!
Can you believe that 2022 is already almost over? The year flew by so quickly! A lot has happened in 2022, and now that the new year is just around the corner, it's time to reflect and celebrate the past year and welcome 2023! If you're going to be in Korea on New Year's Eve, there are many events you can attend to celebrate the new year! Additionally, we have a list of recommendations for winter activities to enjoy in Korea. Start 2023 with a bang!
New Year's Eve in Korea | 2023
Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony
Location: 54 Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul | Bosingak Pavilion, Jonggak Station Line 1 Exit 4
Time: 22:50 Saturday, December 31st, 2022 ~ 00:35 Sunday, January 1st, 2023
Roads are likely to be blocked around Bosingak blocked from 21:00 on December 31, 2022 to 1:30 on January 1, 2023.
The subway will not be making stops at Jonggak Station Line 1 from 23:00 on December 31, 2022 to 1:00 on January 1, 2023.
Public transportation service hours will be extended to 2:00 on January 1, 2023.
Credit: Yonhap News
The biggest New Year's Eve event in Korea is the Bosiingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony in Jonggak, Seoul. The historical bell is also known as the New Year's Eve Bell (제야의 종), which is struck 33 times on the last day of the year. This will be the first time in 3 years that the ceremony will be held open to the public, which is very exciting! The ceremony will also be live-streamed on large screens at Gwanghwamun Square and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).
There will be 14 civil representatives present at the event to participate in the ringing of the bell, including the Mayor of Seoul, Oh Sehun, and majorly popular World Cup footballer Cho Guesung!
There are expectations of a large crowd, so the Seoul Metropolitan Government has planned for 1,000 safety patrols to be present during the event in order to ensure safety through crowd control. Please keep in mind that there will be high volumes of people in areas where events are taking place and be extra careful!
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP): Seoul Light New Year's Countdown
Location: 281 Eulji-ro, Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울 중구 을지로7가 을지로 281)
Time: 23:50 December 31st, 2022
This event will take place on the 222m outer wall on the west side of DDP.
The Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony will also be broadcasted live at DDP.
The 'Seoul Light' event at DDP will hold a small New Year's event titled 'HELLO 2023, Heart-Beat New Year' from December 31st, 2022 into January 1st, 2023.
The Seoul Light exhibit takes place from December 17th, 2022 to January 1st, 2023, from 19:00-22:00. The showing is scheduled to end with the New Year's Countdown.
You can refer to the timetable above for specifics.
At the Seoul Light exhibit, you can see all kinds of amazing, colorful digital productions and then celebrate the end of the year!
This large sculpture titled '2023 HIGH! FIVE' is also at DDP and has a tiger and a rabbit high-fiving to signify the end of the Year of the Tiger and the start of the Year of the Rabbit. It's a super cute way to celebrate the coming of 2023! This sculpture will be up from December 6th, 2022 to January 31st, 2023. It's located at the entrance of DDP Art Hall 1F A3.
2023 Countdown Busan
Location: Gwangalli Beach (Busan Subway Line 2 Gwangan Station Exit 5)
Time: 23:00 December 31st, 2022 ~ 12:10 January 1st, 2023
The first 1,000 people may enter the event area for free (gates open at 22:00).
The event will be live-streamed on various YouTube channels.
If you're going to be in the Busan area, you definitely want to check out the New Year's countdown event at Gwangalli Beach! From celebratory performances to the famous drone show, you'll certainly end 2022 in an exciting way!
You can refer to the timetable above for details or check out the official site. Again, please keep in mind that there will be large volumes of people, so please be careful and exercise caution.
Year-End Awards Ceremonies
Broadcasting Stations: KBS, SBS, & MBC
2021 MBC Gayo Daejaejeon
At the end of each year, there are many year-end awards shows that occur to celebrate the end of a year full of K-pop and Korean dramas & films. The artists and actors/actresses that worked hard throughout the year are given awards and there are many special performances as well!
2022 SBS Gayo Daejeon (Credit: Soompi)
2022 KBS Gayo Daechukje (Credit: KBS)
Most of these awards shows take place mid-end December, with some of the shows broadcasting past midnight on the 31st into the new year! You can refer to the table below to see information about the major year-end awards shows.
|KBS Drama Awards|
2022.12.31 @ 21:20
|MBC Drama Awards|
2022.12.30 @ 20:30
|SBS Drama Awards|
2022.12.31 @ 20:35
|KBS Entertainment Awards|
2022.12.24 @ 21:20
|MBC Entertainment Awards|
2022.12.29 @ 20:30
|SBS Entertainment Awards|
2022.12.17 @ 20:35
|KBS Gayo Daechukje|
2022.12.16 @ 20:30
|MBC Gayo Daejaejeon|
2022.12.31 @ 20:40
|SBS Gayo Daejeon|
2022.12.24 @ 19:30
2023 New Year's Day Sunrise
Many Koreans enjoy celebrating the new year by going on a trip somewhere they can greet the new year by watching the first sunrise. Let's see some of the most popular spots for watching the sunrise!
1. Pohang Homigot Sunrise Square (호미곶 해맞이광장)
Location: 20 Haemaji-ro 150beon-gil, Homigot-myeon, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do (경상북도 포항시 남구 호미곶면 해맞이로150번길 20)
Precautions: For safety reasons, the 2022 Homigot Sunrise Festival has been canceled.
Located on the east coast of Korea is the Homigot Sunrise Square, one of the most famous spots for watching the sunrise on New Year's Day. Homigot means 'village on a tiger's tail', as the South Korean peninsula is said to be shaped like a tiger. The most famous point of this sunrise spot is the 'Hand of Harmony', which is a large hand sticking straight out of the ocean.
Usually, there is a festival that occurs every year on New Year's Day, but unfortunately, it is canceled this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and overcrowding.
2. Gangneung Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park (정동진 해맞이 축제)
Location: Jeongdongjin Sandglass Park, Jeongdongjin-ri 569 beon-ji, Gangdong-myeon, Gangneung-si (강릉시 강동면 정동진리 569번지 모래시계공원)
Gangneung is a very popular spot to visit the beach year-round and is especially popular on New Year's as it is a great place to watch the sunrise!
There is a large sandglass that has a diameter of 8.06 meters and weighs 40 tons! It takes an entire year for the sand to spill to the bottom, then it's reset every year at midnight on New Year's Day!
3. N Seoul Tower
Location: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울 용산구 남산공원길 105)
If you want to stay in Seoul to watch the sunrise on January 1st, you can go to Namsan Park, where N Seoul Tower is located. It's the perfect place to get a view of the city and the open skyline!
4. Jeju Island Seongsan Sunrise Festival (제주도 성산일출봉)
Location: Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Jeju Island (제주도 서귀포시 성산읍 일출로 284-12)
Precautions: Only 500 participants with reservations are allowed in the festival; there will be no on-site entry.
Jeju Island is a beautiful vacation spot and has all kinds of natural landmarks that are famous among both Koreans and foreigners. Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect place to watch the sunrise.
To ensure safety and prevent overcrowding, the festival has limited the number of participants to 500, which has unfortunately been filled already. If you'll be in Jeju, maybe you can still get a view of the sunrise from a nearby area!
5. Yeosu Hyangiram Sunrise Festival (여수 향일암일출제)
Location: 70-4, Hyangiram-ro, Yeosu-si, Jeollanam-do (전라남도 여수시 돌산읍 향일암로 70-4)
Yeosu, located on the southern coast of Korea, is a very popular spot to watch the sunrise on New Year's as well. Every year, there are cultural celebrations and fireworks to celebrate the coming of the new year!
Jeju Shinhwa World 2023 Countdown (제주신화월드)
Location: 38 Shinhwayeoksa-ro 304 beon-gil, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju (제주 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로304번길 38)
Time: December 30th, 2022 (19:00-22:00) / December 31st, 2022 (20:30-00:30)
Jeju Shinhwa World is a large resort on Jeju Island that holds a New Year's countdown party every year! This year, the festival will last for two days, with performances from famous Korean singers and rappers and a countdown to 2023.
The 'Time Machine Concert' will take place on December 30th, 2022 and the Countdown Party will take place on December 31st, 2022. Tickets are still available via Interpark!
Countdown Fantasy 2022-2023
Location: YES24 Live Hall (서울 광진구 구천면로 20)
Time: December 30th, 2022 (15:00-22:30) / December 31st, 2022 (17:00-00:30)
Price: 110,000 KRW per day
Countdown Fantasy is a music festival that features performances from various bands to celebrate the new year! This year, there will be a total of 18 bands performing over 2 days!
Check out the lineup and timetable for this year's festival! Tickets are still available on YES24, so if you want to attend, hurry before they're gone! It'll be a really fun, unique way to celebrate 2023!
Ocean To You Resort 2023 Fireworks Show (오션투유리조트)
Location: Sampo Beach | 1-12 Sampo-ri, Jugwang-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do (강원 고성군 죽왕면 삼포리 1-12)
Time: Event starts on December 31st, 2022 at 23:30 / Fireworks start on January 1st, 2023 at 00:00
Ocean To You Resort, located on the coast of Gangwon-do, is a beautiful resort that many like to visit for vacation. This year, the resort will be hosting a fireworks show at Sampo Beach, free and open to everyone! You'll also be able to write a wish you have for the new year and tie it to a balloon that will be released into the sky! Be sure to check it out if you can!
Winter Activities to Enjoy in Korea
Uniquely, strawberry picking is a popular winter activity here in Korea! It's currently strawberry season so the strawberries are super fresh and sweet. You can't experience winter in Korea without trying the juicy strawberries! Click the links below for more details on strawberry-picking tours outside Seoul!
- Incheon Winter Strawberry Starlight Tour
- Strawberry Picking Experience + Eobi Valley + Nami Island Day Tour
Snowy Land Sledding Park
What's winter without playing in the snow and going sledding? At Snowyland, which is the nation's first and largest snow village at about 110,000 square meters, you can make special winter memories in the snow! There are all kinds of options when it comes to sleds – single-seater sleds, multi-seater sleds, ice sleds, and even traditional sleds! Make a reservation by clicking the link below!
You can't have a proper winter holiday without going skiing or snowboarding! Korea has a multitude of various ski resorts available during the winter, and it's considered a must-do winter activity. Go on a day trip or spend a couple of days at the resort! Check out all the different ski tours available below:
- Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort Day Tour
- SONO Vivaldi Park Day Tour
- Yongpyeong 2 Days 1 Night Ski Tour
- Pyeongchang Ski Resort 3 Days 2 Nights Ski Tour
- Jisan Forest Ski Resort Day Trip
Cheongyang Alps Village Ice Festival
Every winter, the Chilgapsan Ice Fountain Festival is held in Cheongyang-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, where winter scenery like the movie Frozen comes to life! Enjoy Korea's winter in the Cheongyang Alps Village while also trying out fun winter activities like bobsledding and ice skating! Click the link below to make a reservation!
We hope you had a great 2022 and wish you a happy new year in 2023 enjoying winter in Korea! If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on all things Korea!