Posted by: rbbadger | December 26, 2009

Christmas in Seoul

Well, all is cold and snowy in Seoul right now.  I don’t usually mind snow, but I definitely mind it here.  In addition to the phenomenon of motorcycles on the sidewalk, you have to be really careful where you walk.  It snows and they never, ever clear it.  It sort of wears away more than anything.  Given that the temperature is not expected to rise above zero this week, it should make going to work an interesting prospect.  The paving stones that they use for sidewalks become unbearably slick.  I’m amazed that I’ve not fallen all that much considering. 

This afternoon, I attended the Mass of Christmas at Seoul’s Myeong-dong Cathedral.  They really do the Mass of Christmas very nicely.  His Eminence, Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul was the celebrant.  It is the sort of thing that I like to see, namely a veritable army of servers, candles, incense, and all.  The place really was packed.  When I spoke with my parents this morning, I was in line waiting to get in.  I had arrived an hour early and was pretty lucky to get a seat.  There were numerous people standing, the number of which would have raised the ire of many an American fire marshal.  Midnight Mass is even more amazing, considering that people start lining up at 8 PM, the outdoor creche is blessed at 11, and the Mass starts promptly at midnight.  The choir sung their hearts out, and as it is the Haydnjahr (Haydn Year), we had some Haydn. 

For Christmas Dinner, I went to the Big Rock, a restaurant and bar in Gangnam.  I sometimes like to go their for their breakfasts.  The owner is really personable, so I like to throw him my business when I can.  He had a special Christmas buffet involving turkey, ham, spare ribs, and all the rest.  So yes, I did get my Christmas turkey!  And it was worth it, too.  One of the teachers from our school and another teacher from another school joined me.

Anyhow, I hope that you all have happy and wonderful holidays.  I’ll speak with some of you on Sunday.



  1. When you call it will be Saturday for us, right? We just talked to Lynnette on the phone. It was really great to hear her voice too! She said to tell you and everybody hi! She’s doing great too. Be safe on the ice! Glad you are enjoying your Christmas “hundreds of miles from home! Love ya lots!!

  2. Merry Christmas to you! I attended Midnight Mass here in Chico, CA, my still Lutheran parents’ adopted hometown. I became Catholic in Korea, and the Masses here are always a bit of a let down. Still, it’s Christman.

    • Thanks for the comment! I like the way they celebrate Mass in Korea. There is enough of the good Confucian sense of order and decorum that reverence tends to prevail. It makes me think that the forma extraordinaria celebrated in Korea by Korean priests must have breathtakingly beautiful.

  3. Merry Christmas! I sent you a Christmas card to your hagwon address.

    • Thank you so much for doing that. I hope you’re own holidays were wonderful.

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