Wishes for Good Fortune in the New Year(德談)

Wishes for Good Fortune in the New Year

Headword

덕담 ( 德談 , Deokdam )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ChoiInhak(崔仁鶴)

Deokdam (Kor. 덕담, Chin. 德談, lit. virtuous remarks) refers to the remarks wishing others well, exchanged between people on festive occasions, particularly during the Lunar New Year season. In general people wish each other success in achieving their goals for the new year. However, the speaker usually considers the situation of the one to whom the greeting is addressed. Thus, a greeting for someone who wants to have a child naturally differs from the one intended for someone hoping to start a career in government or to make a fortune that year. These wishes may best be delivered orally, but they also can be sent in the form of a New Year’s greeting card, especially when the giver and receiver live far from each other.

In accordance with Korean tradition, all family members dress up in their best attire and gather to offer their New Year’s greetings. At this family gathering, New Year’s wishes are given by the senior members of a family to the younger members. First, the younger members of a family perform sebae (Kor. 세배, Chin. 歲拜, ceremonial bows). In response, the senior family members deliver their wishes for good fortune to the younger family members. The ceremony is usually followed by the sharing of a special New Year’s food called tteokguk (Kor. 떡국), or rice-cake soup, with the children of the family also receiving a New Year’s gift of money from the elders.

Wishes for good fortune commonly use the past tense; for example, "I heard that you got married this year," "They say that you have passed the exam this year," or "It is said that you have made a lot of money this year." Use of the past tense reflects the speaker’s earnest desire that what is said will come true and indicates his or her belief in the magical power of the stated speech.

New Year’s wishes are also exchanged between friends and peers. In the urban areas, they are sometimes delivered via telephone, cards or letters.

Wishes for Good Fortune in the New Year

Wishes for Good Fortune in the New Year
Headword

덕담 ( 德談 , Deokdam )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer ChoiInhak(崔仁鶴)

Deokdam (Kor. 덕담, Chin. 德談, lit. virtuous remarks) refers to the remarks wishing others well, exchanged between people on festive occasions, particularly during the Lunar New Year season. In general people wish each other success in achieving their goals for the new year. However, the speaker usually considers the situation of the one to whom the greeting is addressed. Thus, a greeting for someone who wants to have a child naturally differs from the one intended for someone hoping to start a career in government or to make a fortune that year. These wishes may best be delivered orally, but they also can be sent in the form of a New Year’s greeting card, especially when the giver and receiver live far from each other.

In accordance with Korean tradition, all family members dress up in their best attire and gather to offer their New Year’s greetings. At this family gathering, New Year’s wishes are given by the senior members of a family to the younger members. First, the younger members of a family perform sebae (Kor. 세배, Chin. 歲拜, ceremonial bows). In response, the senior family members deliver their wishes for good fortune to the younger family members. The ceremony is usually followed by the sharing of a special New Year’s food called tteokguk (Kor. 떡국), or rice-cake soup, with the children of the family also receiving a New Year’s gift of money from the elders.

Wishes for good fortune commonly use the past tense; for example, "I heard that you got married this year," "They say that you have passed the exam this year," or "It is said that you have made a lot of money this year." Use of the past tense reflects the speaker’s earnest desire that what is said will come true and indicates his or her belief in the magical power of the stated speech.

New Year’s wishes are also exchanged between friends and peers. In the urban areas, they are sometimes delivered via telephone, cards or letters.