Sunday, December 23, 2018

"In South Korea, motels, condoms and the pill are in hot demand for Christmas"

Even though South Korea is about 30% Christian, Christmas is widely celebrated as a secular lover’s holiday not unlike Valentine’s Day, especially among the younger generation.

And because it’s customary for most unmarried young adults to live with their parents, Christmas has become a cherished occasion for couples to seek some privacy.


After initially being celebrated as a religion holiday here by a small number of Christians in the early part of the 20th century, Christmas gained popularity in the years after the Korean War truce in 1953. During those years, the typically strictly enforced nighttime curfew was lifted on Christmas Day by the U.S. forces controlling Seoul.

American-style dance halls were springing up around the same time, and while police usually cracked down on them as morally objectionable, they were given a pass on Christmas


“The customs of the night have long been repressed by curfew,” the Joongang Ilbo editorial said, according to Kang. “And because of the freedom of the night, curfew-free Christmas Eve could never just be holy.”