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Anyone celebrating Christmas here?

Decorations just meant to boost shopping fever

Dec 28,2003
The following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Ms. Debeers, who wrote to us from Seoul:

Q. Ms. Debeers:
While ubiquitous department stores and hotels hang monumental Christmas decorations, ordinary Koreans don’t seem to celebrate Christmas the way we Americans do back home. Is there any Christmas tradition in Korea?

A. IHT-JAD:
The history of celebrating Christmas is relatively short in Korea. Catholicism and Christianity were introduced to Koreans as early as the 19th century, but the followers were first oppressed. Western customs that came with the religion began to propagate during the American military presence in Korea, especially after the Korean War ended in 1953. For decades, American influence has been in the mainstream culture in Korea, and missionaries and Christians in Korea popularized Christmas traditions, such as decorating Christmas trees, singing carols and exchanging cards and gifts. To non-Christian Koreans, Christmas can mean just shopping and enjoying the holiday spirit.


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