The Lunar New Year Customs in korea
In Korea, from 6th to 8th of February is the national holiday called ""Seol-Nal(설날)".
"Seol-Nal" is the Lunar New Year in Korean. This is the Korean greatest national holiday like China. Originally Seol-Nal is based on ancestor worship and filial piety, and it is usually for having divine time between ancestors and offsprings. As an industrialization comes, the meaning of "Seol-Nal" has changed into the day when people can be free from tensions and compulsions of working in the city and have delightful time with family.
During the New Year holiday, most of Korean go back to their hometown from city and observe a worship service for family ancestors, called "Cha-Lye(차례)", one of the New Year customs in Korea.
Customs of "Seol-Nal"
Korea has various kinds of New Year customs like "Cha-Lye(차례)", "Se-Bae(세배)", "Duk-Dam(덕담)", "Seol-Bim(설빔)", "Chung-Cham(청참)", "Yut-Nori(윷놀이)" and "Nul-Dduigi(널뛰기)".
1. Cha-Lye ; Ancestor-Memorial-Rites
On the New Year's Day(February 7th in this year), people hold a memorial service in the main floored room or big room, and it is called "Cha-Lye". Behind a sacrificial table, there is a folding screen set up and on the table all New Year foods should be set up. The way to set up foods depends on the region and family but mostly, fruits are on the front low(red one is on the east side and white one on the west). Vegetables should be on the second low, soup on third(fish-soup on east, meat-soup on west), fried foods on firth, and on the last low there should be rice.
2. Se-Bae ; Formal Bow of Respect to elders (Check Video)
After finishing Cha-Lye, youger people bow to elder family, which is called "Se-Bae". Then, people have breakfast and visit neighbors to bow. If the person who came to your house to bow, then you are suppoed to serve liquor and food, but to the children instead of liquor you will give them the New Year's gift of money(usaully called "Bow money") and rice cake or fruits.
3. Duk-Dam ; Well Wishing Remarks
When people Se-Bae, the person who receives Se-Bae says "I hope you will succeed in your business", and the person who bows says "I hope you will have long life" or something like good things to hear. Like this, wishing luck to people is called "Duk-Dam". You can do this custom not only when you are doing Se-Bae but also when you meet up with your neighbors or friends on the street. Saying "I hope you will past exam in this year", "I hope you will recover your health" or etc all can be "Duk-Dam".
4. Seol-Bim ; The New Year's Best Clothes
On the New Year's Day, people are supposed to wake up early in the morning, wash face, and dress up with clean clothes to have a fresh beginning of year. This custom is called "Seol-Bim".
5. Chung-Cham ; Prediction by Sound
In the morning of the New Year's Day, the first sound that you would hear becomes source to predict your future. For example, if someone hears magpie's chirp it means he/she will have a good harvest, on the other hand, if someone hears sparrow or crow it symbolizes a misfortune like a poor harvest. Lastly, hearing just human beings voice will bring nothing bad but nothing good things.
Besides, Korea has lots of traditional New Year game like Yut-Nori(Four-Stick Game) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yutnori - and Nul-Dduigi(Seesaw) - check video.
source from http://www.nfm.go.kr/folk/f2_1mon.jsp