Parishes and pubs offer foreigners Christmas cheer

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Parishes and pubs offer foreigners Christmas cheer

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Christmas may not be a traditional Korean holiday, but you wouldn't know that from the lights, parties, food and decorations. In fact, there's plenty to keep even the loneliest foreigner busy.
The International Lutheran Church near exit 2 of Hangangjin station offers a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. with carols by candlelight followed by another service on Christmas Day at 9:30 a.m. The nearby Catholic International Parish will hold a Christmas Eve Mass at 10 p.m. followed the next day by the regular English Masses at 9 and 11 a.m., with other Masses in German, French and Italian following the regular schedule.
The Brazil-Korea Association holds its fourth annual Christmas party, which will consist of a Mass in Portuguese followed by a buffet dinner, in Seodaemun on Friday at 5:45 p.m. Call (019) 645-1409 or e-mail brazil_korea_com@yahoo. com.br.
If your place of worship is the local pub, there are plenty of events for you as well. The Canadian-themed Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon presents a slew of Christmas activities for its clientele. Kicking off the season is a night of classic TV specials including "The Grinch," "Charlie Brown" and more, Wednesday from 7 to 11 p.m. On Dec. 19 the tavern holds a Christmas trivia contest at 9 p.m. A Christmas carol open mic night is set for Dec. 22, a mistletoe night for Dec. 24 and a Christmas turkey buffet dinner and prize drawing for 3 to 6 p.m. on Christmas itself (advance ticket required). A New Year's Eve party is also scheduled.
Watts On Tap, the Sinchon pub known for its live music and open mic nights, has parties planned for Christmas on Dec. 23 and 24 and New Year's on Dec. 30 and 31. There will be a gift exchange on Dec. 24. Drop off your contact information to participate. Recipients will be drawn randomly a few days before Christmas. From exit 2 of Sinchon station, walk 300 meters toward Yonsei and turn left. The pub is on the third floor. At the parties, 10,000 won covers entry and one drink.
Finally, the Kiwi-run New Phillies near exit 2 of Noksapyeong station hosts a pair of champagne breakfasts Dec. 24 and 25. If you'd like to make a day of it, a turkey dinner follows at 1 p.m. on Christmas day.
For those still looking for gifts, the expat Seoul Selection bookshop near Gwanghwamun offers a 20 percent discount on all stock Saturday.


by Ben Applegate
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