Sunday, February 6, 2011
Lunar New Year's Gifts
The Year of the Rabbit officially began in Korea on Thursday, February 2nd, this year. Nice that the rabbit and the groundhog can share the spotlight for a day.
Gifts are common at this time of year, and usually food or household products of some kind make a convenient (if well-overpriced) option for families on the go. Kids get cold hard cash, and adults get practical stuff. Food is best. These large 30x50 cm boxes can be seen everywhere in Seoul at this time of year as people move about from family home to family home.
I got some fruit juice and some soap from my Hagwon supervisor during my first year in Korea, and this year I received a box of bathroom products from my rabbit's sister, as well as box of traditional Korean snacks from one of my school's PE teachers when he and I met for lunch on the weekend. The treat box must have cost nearly 100,000 won. Seriously. If it's not in a special New Year's box, apparently it's not worth giving, and retailers take full advantage of this sentiment.
Anyway, I was surprised and touched by both gifts. Now that the New Years holiday has officially come to an end, Happy Year of the Rabbit, everyone!