Happy 2014 from South Korea

I am a bit sleepy as I wait for my breakfast to be delivered to our room. As the New Year celebrations unfold around the world our first day into the new year has already started.

We are in Sokcho, a sleepy seaside town a stone throw from the north border, on the east coast of South Korea; we have come here from Seoul to celebrate like the locals.

At 7:30 am the wintery beach transformed itself for a little over an hour when revellers gathered to stare at the horizon full of expectations. And they were not disappointed: at 7:42 the sun’s shape timidly appeared behind the haze and quickly revealed itself in all its glory.

This is how the Koreans greet the new year. They don’t make much of a fuss at midnight (not here anyway. Seoul is a different story) but come to the beach at sunrise on New Year’s Day and you’ll find a crowd of heads facing East with mesmerised eyes.

So this is how our 2014 has started, with icy hands, warm hearts and a sparkle in the eye.

How did you greet this New Year?

Happy 2014 to you all!

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