As with all holidays, Seollal is filled with tradition: traditional foods, traditional games, and traditional activities. One of those activities at Seollal is performing sebae (세배). Sebae is a deep formal bow of respect that the younger members of the family perform before the oldest members of the family. A well-performed sebae results in a gift of money from the older family members.
If you’re interested in starting this tradition with your family, here’s a site that can help. The Korea Tourism site has a show-and-tell page on how to perform sebae. www.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=309657.
Boys and girls perform the sebae bow a little differently, but the site shows how both bows are done.
I think it’s a fun tradition and a rare chance for our boy to wear his hanbok. I actually found this site last year and our son loved practicing sebae. Being a year older, I’m sure he’ll be really good at it this year. Guess I should have the money ready. 🙂