Happy Seollal, Soompiers! Welcome to the Year of the Snake!


Wait, what does “seollal” mean? “Seollal” is generally referred to as Lunar New Year’s Day and is therefore based on the lunar calendar. Several countries like India, China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Nepal observe this holiday. In Korean, it’s written as 설날. This year, it falls on February 10 and the day before and the day after are also observed as national holidays.

It is one of two most important Korean traditional holidays. The other would be Chuseok, which we’ll save for another day. If you happen to be visiting Seoul that weekend and want to head to a different city, beware! You’ll be stuck in traffic for a very long time. Many children who grew up in other parts of the country have immigrated to the capital for various reasons like higher education, more opportunities and/or wanting to be cool. Either way, they have settled in Seoul and when Seollal comes around, there’s a big exodus and the city almost resembles a ghost town.

Some of the customs involve performing ancestral rituals (재사 “jesa”), eating soup with sliced rice cakes (떡국 “tteokguk”), children performing traditional bows and receiving money from elders (새베 “sebae”), and playing folk games like tradition board game (윶놀이 “yunnori”).

Do you also know that the animal zodiacs are changed each year on Lunar New Year’s Day? Which means, say goodbye to the year of the dragon and usher in the year of the snake! And to celebrate, I’ve decided to compile pictures of a large handful of celebrities born in the year of the snake! There are many celebrities out there, much more than this list. So if you don’t see your favorite celebrity on this list, give a shoutout in the comments section!

And here are some interesting tidbits about snakes:
They are good communicators, but don’t say much. They are wise, are focused and accomplish their goals.

On the other hand, they can be jealous and suspicious. They are also very independent and sometimes doubt other people’s judgment.

Regarding any type of relationships, they are most compatible with oxen and roosters while they should avoid people in the year of tigers and pigs.

Without further ado, flip through the gallery to see who’s born in the year of the snake! And do you think they match the traits of snakes?