There's a lot of Christmas traditions in the Philippines—don't even get us started. Whether it's completing the Simbang Gabi or getting the entire clan together for Noche Buena, we've all got our ways to keep our festive spirits at a high this time of year. But the Hallyu fans out there might find it interesting to know how Koreans do Christmas in their side of the world! Curious on how different Koreans get during the month of December? Check these out and know what to expect if ever you decide to fly there for the season!
1. They give money as presents instead of material gifts.
While we often allot some time and thought into what to gift our loved ones, Koreans are a little more practical by wanting to givie (and receive) money instead. There lies a aimple reason: Giving someone the liberty to shop for him/herself is just better than asking for their wish list!
2. Christmas day is mostly celebrated by couples or friends, not families.
For us Filipinos, Christmas is the best time for biiiig, awkward family reunions. Koreans—the teenage lot, most especially—celebrate the holidays with their special someone or just their friends. They would rather make New Year's about family.
3. Santa Claus is known as Grandpa Santa.
We Pinoys have become accustomed to the idea of Santa Claus as a red suit-clad old man wearing with a bag full of presents in hand. In South Korea, Santa is stuffed in some, yes, blue outfit. You would still see Red Santas wandering the chilly country, but not as much as their blue counterparts. (It's still unknown up to this day as to why Korea chose such color!)
4. They don't do door-to-door caroling.
"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear," so goes the saying. But for our neighbors, singing carols isn't a big deal. They still sing Christmas songs at church, but not in communities.
5. Though it's a holiday, Christmas is not relatively included in their winter 'break.'
Here in the Philippines, we usually go on a holiday break for a week or two starting on Christmas Eve (or even earlier). Koreans, on the other hand, don't have any work or classes on the 25th, but it's a mandate to be back in business on the 26th. Their winter break starts on New Year's Day, so telling of how Korea regards New Year's more than Christmas!
6. They don't go overboard on Christmas decors.
As early as September, you can already see Parols, Christmas lights, and Styrofoam snow adorning Filipino homes, parks, and just about anywhere. However, Koreans are not as fond of decorating their homes like us. If they do plan to decorate, it would just be a Christmas tree—and that's already enough to celebrate the holidays!
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