KSA hosts celebration in honor of Korean Lunar New Year

KSAStudents socialize and enjoy their traditional Korean cuisine in Jacobus Lounge. (Credit:

Students socialize and enjoy their traditional Korean cuisine in Jacobus Lounge. (Credit: Joseph A. Brosnan)

Though very belated, the Korean Student Association (KSA) of Stevens hosted a very tasty event in honor of the Korean Lunar New Year Friday, February 14.

The event, which hosted a wide variety of delectable dishes, was held in Jacobus at around 6:00 p.m. and ended around 8:00 p.m., even though many stayed afterwards for socializing and leftover-munching.

KSA had intended to host the event earlier, but, due to the weather, the event kept getting pushed back. The traditional day for the Korean Lunar New Year, for 2014, was initially January 31. The Korean New Year typically occurs on the second new moon after January 21, the winter solstice. The celebration is intended to last three days, the day before the Korean New Year, the day of the Korean New Year, and the day after the Korean New Year, obviously these festivities were kept shorter for the KSA’s personal version of the event.

The Korean Lunar New Year is intended to be a family holiday, where families gather and individuals travel to meet their relatives and parents. It is also on this holiday that the rituals known as “Charye”, where the families honor their deceased ancestors by bringing food, fruits, wine and other offerings, a form of memorial service.

It is also common, traditionally, for the act of “Sebae” to be observed around this time. Sebae is the act of a very deep bow given to one’s elders and giving them the phrase “saehae bok mani badeuseyo” which effectively means “Please receive a lot of luck in the New Year”. Elders often give a small present, usually money in silk bags and by giving them words of wisdom.

The food present was a familiar sight, to those familiar with Korean cuisine: “bulgogi” (grilled and marinated beef with onions), “gimbap” (the Korean equivalent of sushi), “buldak” (spicy chicken), vegetable fried dumplings, beef rib, rice cakes for dessert, and of course, rice.

Throughout the evening, students ate and socialized pleasantly while listening to playlists of popular Korean Pop Music, among other notable hits.