Christmas in Korea: Singles to Hell, Couples to Heaven

How do you like to celebrate Christmas? Today, we would like to introduce how Koreans spend Christmas.

*HISTORY: ‘Christmas’ was introduced in Korea in the 1890s by American missionaries as a part of Protestant mission. It was 1945 when Christmas became an official public holiday in Korea.

  1. Couples Spend Christmas with
    Their Loved Ones

Many Koreans spend Christmas with their loved ones (e.g., boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, etc.). They celebrate this special day by going out for a dinner, watching fancy Christmas decorations on the streets, exchanging gifts, and more. It seems like Koreans don’t like to spend the day inside the house being cozy and all, but rather go out to celebrate.

2. Singles Feel Lonely and Sad

It’s mainly because Christmas has become a commercialized holiday in Korea. Couples are the main target of the media and marketing on Christmas day. Mass media depicts a perfect Christmas as couples happily going out on a date. Singles are cruelly excluded in this party. Also, many Koreans don’t recognize Christmas as a religious holiday, but as a public holiday that they can spend a day with their lover. There are plenty of memes related to singles.????

Then, what do they do on Christmas day? Many female singles do a staycation/party at a hotel with friends and many male singles stay at home just like other days. And they hope to spend the next Christmas with a lover.

These phrases explain how Christmas in Korea looks like:

  • Spending time with the loved one
  • Eating Christmas cake
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Watching Christmas movies
  • Going out for dinner
  • (Singles feeling lonely and sad)


“How do you spend Christmas
in your country?”

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