How to welcome 20022001, adieu! It's time to usher in a brand new year.
"Recover from Christmas parties" may top your list of things to do on New Years Eve, but for those who are still feeling festive and want to greet 2002 with a bang, the peninsula has parties and events galore.
Choices range from all-night affairs to family-friendly events.
Ravers can head to Triport Hall for a joint party by Sickboy and 02 Productions. DJ Mark Lewis, from the United States, is headlining, with locals Dave Benz, Devil, Sal and Uno also on the bill. Tickets are 30,000 won (about $23, but falling fast), which includes one free drink. For more information, call 016-278-6972.
Once in a Blue Moon is always elegant and New Year's is no exception. The jazz club in Cheongdam-dong is offering its usual mix of ambience and music. On Monday night, the Kim Jae-cheol Red Team will perform at 7 p.m. The quartet consists of piano, bass, drums and saxophone.
The Busan Marriott hotel grand ballroom will open at 7:30 p.m. for wining, dining and a lucky draw － an event that is open to children. Tickets are 45,000 won for adults, 19,000 for children. For more information, call 051-743-1234. After a sumptuous evening of revelry, you can watch the sunrise at about 7:30 a.m. at Haeundae Beach. The city government is hosting a variety of events throughout Monday and Tuesday, from a ship parade to a brass band. For more information, call 051-888-3461.
Midnight: Champagne toast
Count down the final moments of 2001 with a fireworks display. The Grand Hyatt Seoul will have fireworks, best viewed from the outdoor ice rink. Admission is 10,000 won. For more information, call 02-797-1234.
Di Moda at JW Marriott Hotel hosts a year-end bash. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a night of party favors, games, prizes, music, food and entertainment. Party-goers will be able to count down with Jonggak revelers via a large projection television. Admission is 10,000 won. The party goes to 4 a.m.
Midnight: Champagne toast
New friends may be silver, but old friends (and things) are gold.
New York City has Times Square. Paris has the Champs-Elysees. Seoul has Jonggak.
On New Years Eve, Jonggak, on Jongno street just east of Gwanghwamun in central Seoul, comes alive with hundreds of thousands of celebrants. People have gathered there every Dec. 31 for almost 50 years to ring in the new year with the tolling of an ancient bell.
The bell pavilion, known as Bosingak, was built during the early days of the Joseon Dynasty in 1395. Since 1953, the government has selected 20 people each year to ring the bell at midnight. This year's honorees include Kim Byeong-ji, the goalkeeper of the national soccer team, and Im Eun-ju, a female referee for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
Jonggak is the place in Seoul to go on New Year's Eve, but be aware that the crowds can be dangerous. Last year, a young child was trampled and died, and people have fainted in the maddening throng, not to mention all the people blasting firecrackers low over people's heads.
This year, the area will be even more crowded as the nearby City Hall is hosting a celebration in honor of the 2002 World Cup. "Today and Tomorrow," from 11 p.m. to 12:20 a.m., will feature singers Jo Young-nam, Lee Jeong-hyeon and Park Jin-young.
To improve safety, the government has enacted several measures. On New Year's Eve, the subway will run until 2 a.m. on Tuesday in most areas. In order to control pedestrian traffic, subways will not stop at Jonggak Station from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Furthermore, City Hall Station will close at 12:50 a.m., so you will need to use a nearby station to get home.
Midnight: At Jonggak, the bell tolls. At City Hall, there will be a satellite connection to celebrations in
In Western countries, singing "Auld Lang Syne" is a traditional way to greet the New Year. Some prefer watching others sing.
The funny and popular pop singer Kim Gunmo is wrapping up his 2002 World Cup tour with a concert at the Fencing Stadium at Olympic Park. The concert starts at 10 p.m. Concert-goers may want to bring greeting cards they haven't sent; after midnight, mailboxes will be available for audience members to mail last-minute cards. For more information, call 02-336-1036.
Midnight: Large screen broadcasting the bell ceremony at Jonggak
Jo Sumi is back in Korea to spread New Year cheer. She will be singing German and Italian arias, along with some waltzes and polkas. The concert at Seoul Arts Center starts at 10 p.m. For more information, call 02-580-1300.
Lee Eun-me, a popular rock 'n' roll singer, is hosting two concerts on Monday at Central City Millennium Hall. The first starts at 7 p.m.; the second starts at 11 p.m., just in time for a countdown to the new year. Tickets are 50,000 won. For more information, call 02-6282-0114.
If your idea of a New Year's celebration is to see the first glorious sunrise of the year － away from the craze of Seoul － pack your bags and go.
Head to Cape Homi at Pohang city, in North Gyeongsang province and one of the most easterly cities in Korea, to be one of the first people in Korea to see the sunrise. The Korean National Railroad is offering an overnight trip on its Saemaeul first class train, arriving in the wee hours, just in time to catch the first sun rays of the new year.
After taking in the beautiful spectacle, you can visit Oeo Temple － where the reverend Wonhyo and Jijang pitted their supernatural powers against each other back in the days of the Silla Dynasty, over 1,500 years ago.
The train departs Seoul on Monday at 11:10 p.m. and arrives in Pohang at 4:40 a.m. It leaves Pohang on Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. and arrives in Seoul at 9:12 p.m. Tickets cost 69,000 won for adults, meals not included. For more information, call Korean National Railroad at 02-1544-7788.
Midnight: Sleep. This way, you can wake up in time to watch the sunrise.
Two kinds of bus tours to the East Sea are available this year. The first goes to Jeongdongjin, a train station next to the seashore. You will first watch the sunrise from Samcheok city, Gangwon province, then go to Jeongdongjin.
The second tour goes to the port of Ganggu, South Gyeongsang province, just in time for the sunrise. The next stop is Andong, North Gyeongsang province, a city famous for the Andong Korean folk village.
Both tours cost 39,000 won for adults. The buses depart Monday at 11 p.m. and return around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. For more information, call 02-558-6200 (extension number 305).
For a mountain and island escape all in one, check out Jeju Island. The government is hosting a hike to the peak of Mount Seong. Organizers are expecting 30,000 visitors to celebrate from 5 p.m. to dawn. The events will culminate with fireworks and a wishing ceremony － kites will be flown to symbolize hopes for the reunification of the two Koreas. The event is free. For more information, call 064-733-2701, or check out:
Midnight: A campfire lighting ceremony
by Joe Yong-hee, Chun Su-jin