The arrival of the first snow, referred to as cheonnun (첫눈) in Korean, holds great significance in South Korea, marking the transition from autumn to winter and bringing joy to people of all ages as the snow blankets the surroundings.
Beyond its meteorological importance, the first snow carries profound cultural symbolism, entwined with various meanings rooted in tradition and belief. In South Korea, numerous superstitions and beliefs are associated with the first snowfall. One popular superstition suggests that witnessing the first snow with someone you like leads to falling in love and a lasting relationship.
Another intriguing belief holds that the first snowfall was once considered a type of April Fool's Day in Korea due to the unpredictable weather, leading people to tell lies. However, it was believed that all lies would be forgiven on this day, even those told to the king.
Additionally, some believe that making a wish during the first snowfall ensures its fulfillment, adding a special and eagerly anticipated element to the day.
These beliefs have been popularized in Korean dramas such as Goblin, My Love From The Stars, Reply 1988, and others.
South Korea experienced its first snow of the season on November 17, 2023, marking the start of winter. People gathered to witness and capture this enchanting moment, eager to share its beauty with the world. Interestingly, this event sparked a resurgence of popularity for EXO's 2013 hit song, "The First Snow." Ever since the song's release, it has consistently climbed the music charts whenever the first snow falls.
In South Korea, the first snow goes beyond mere weather; it is a cultural cornerstone deeply embedded in traditions, beliefs, and emotions. It heralds a season of renewal, romance, and introspection, transforming the landscape into a breathtaking winter wonderland.