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Title NEW YEAR GREATING CUSTOM
Name Standardmold
Date Time/Hit 2008-01-25 00:00:00 / 1526
All cultures have their own greeting customs. According to Korean tradition, the formal greeting custom on special occasions is a bow where you get down on both knees and bend your upper body. This kind of greeting is known as 'jeol'.
The Seollal jeol is called 'sebae', and this tradition is strictly observed even today. On the official day of Seollal, Koreans change into Hanboks to symbolize new beginnings starting off with a clean body and heart where they pay their respects to the elders by bowing or doing sebae.
Let's Learn How to Perform 'Sebae'
 
1. Hand positions
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In the case of women, usually she places her right hand above the left hand, and vice versa for the man.
To express grief, the woman places her left hand above her right hand, and vice versa for the man.
When performing sebae, the woman places her right hand above the left hand, and the man places his left hand above his right hand.
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2. Man's Sebae
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① Place one's left hand above the right. Stand up straight with your hands resting in front of the lower abdomen (right below the navel).
② Raise both hands to the chest.
③ Place both hands on the floor as you bend your knees.
④ Bend your upper body and bow your head.
⑤ Once your head touches the back of your left hand, stand up by raising your right knee first.
⑥ Raise both hands up to your chest once more before returning your hands to their natural position.
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3. Woman's Sebae
Simplified Jeol
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① Place your right hand above your left hand. Stand up straight with your hands resting in front of your lower abdomen (right below the navel).
② Release your hands naturally as you bend your knees and sit.
③ Rest your hands in front of your knees, placing them at shoulder's width. Then bow your head as you bend your upper body.
④ Take your hands off the floor as you raise your upper body.
⑤ Resume your standing position with your hands in front of your lower abdomen.
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Formal jeol
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(Today, the formal jeol is performed at big ceremonies such as weddings, and the simplified jeol is performed more commonly for special occasions.)
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① Raise both hands up to your eye level with your head slightly bowed and eyes on your feet.
② Sit cross-legged with your hands still raised in the above position.
③ Bend your upper body about 45 degrees.
④ Stay in this position for a couple of seconds before getting up. Maintain your hands in the original position at all times.
⑤ Resume your standing position with your hands in front of your lower abdomen.
Once you have finished performing 'sebae', you can sit back down and listen to the well-wishing comments from your elders. Then, enjoy the delicious Seollal tteokguk (rice cake soup) with all your family members, and later, play folk games together like yunnori. Also, make a New Year's resolutions for a more fulfilling New Year.
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Tip : How to Tie One's Hanbok Ribbon
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img05_4.jpg img05_5.jpg The ribbon hanging in front of the woman's Hanbok is called the 'otgoreum' and it has a specific way of tying it.
Let's learn how to tie the woman's otgoreum.
 
① Hold the two ribbons strings, both long and short, in your hands.
② Cross the ribbon strings, placing the short string on top of the long string.
③ Wrap the short string around the long string with its end facing the ceiling.
④ Fold the long string and place the folded string on top of your right chest. This shape is called the 'gori'.
⑤ Wrap the shorter string around the gori and make a knot.
⑥ The knot should not be too tight, and the loop should be parallel to the ceiling.
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