Boshingak bell-tolling ceremony and other events being held to bring in New Year

  • 5 years ago
Today is the last day of 2018.
And various events are scheduled in all corners of South Korea to bid farewell to the past year and celebrate the start of a new year.
Kim Mok-yeon tells us the details.
On Monday evening, the last day of 2018, tens of thousands of people are expected to gather at Boshingak pavilion in Jongno, central Seoul, to celebrate another year gone by and greet the coming New Year.
At midnight, the Boshingak bell will ring out 33 times, and 11 citizens including legendary speed skater Lee Sang-hwa and renowned trauma surgeon Lee Guk-jong will take part in the striking of the bell.
The traditional bell-tolling ceremony, with roots dating back to the Joseon Dynasty, was originally used to inform people of the opening and closing of the four main gates to the city.
But in modern tradition, the bell has been rung 33 times on midnight to ring in the New Year and wish for the nation's prosperity and the health, and happiness of the people.
A similar bell tolling ceremony with celebratory performances has also been prepared at Imjingak, in Paju, near the border with North Korea.
More than 10 thousand residents are expected to take part in the annual event which had been cancelled for the past two years.
Sunrise festivals will also be held in various cities and major mountains and coastal sites across the country including the coastal city of Busan and Ganjeolgot in Ulsan City, where people can see the earliest sunrise on the mainland of the Korean Peninsula.
With relatively mild temperatures forecast for New Year's day, weather experts say the first sunrise of the year 2019 will be visible in most parts of the country, except for the southernmost island of Jeju, where snow is expected.

Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.