Domingos had the day off work today, so we set out for Namsangol Hanok Village to take in some of the Seollal (Lunar New Year) festivities. Namsangol is right outside the Chungmuro subway station, so it was very easy to get to with a train from Noksapyeong and a transfer at Yaksu. It’s pretty incredible how quiet the city gets during Seollal, as many Seoul residents go home to their families in other parts of Korea for this important holiday. Namsangol was bustling, however.
There were many different activities you could partake in, most for a fee, including kite making, top making, archery, and mask making. You could take a turn pounding rice with a huge wooden mallet:
We took in part of a drumming performance:
The village is small but very cute. I loved this view of kimchi pots:
And, of course, we ate some food.
We had a slightly sweet rice cake on a stick to finish up, but it was very unphotogenic so there’s no picture to share. A man was making cotton candy flowers next to the japchae truck, and he had cotton candy strands all over his coat and in his hair.
I wish I’d gotten a picture of one of his “flowers” because they were beautifully layered with different colors.
All in all, it was a fun outing, despite the bitter wind that came through every now and then.
Several people have mentioned to me how great it is that we’re really embracing life in Seoul and getting out a lot. It has made me realize that I really want to live my life this way no matter where we are living; chances are high that this will be the only overseas assignment of Domingos’s career, but there’s no reason we can’t approach any city we live in with the same energy we’ve brought to exploring Seoul. So that’s my promise to my future self, to get out and really see the places I live in, no matter where they are.