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Korean Traditional Hanbok

Hanbok is the traditional Korean costume. It called Hanbok (한복) in South Korea and Joseon-ot (조선옷) in North Korea.

The hanbok we know today refers to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It is characterized by riot of color and simple lines.

Han means ‘’Korea’’ and Bok means ‘’Clothing’’. It refers specifically to clothing of the Joseon period and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations.

It was the daily clothes until 100 years ago; nowadays it is only worn for special events like birthdays, weddings or public holidays (especially Chuseok, a major harvest festival in Korea).

Ancient Hanbok


During ancient time, Confucianism dominated the Korean society. The higher class showed their authority with their knowledge more than with money or exterior signs of wealth. They wore two types of hanbok: one with clear colors in silk (plain or with patterns) during winter, and one with a light tissue during the warmer seasons. In contrast, the lower class could only wear hanbok made of hemp or cotton with bright colors. The hanbok was a way to separate the different social classes present in Korea: the royal family, aristocracy and the people.

Hanbok Joseon Period


Nowadays, some Korean peoples wear Hanbok during the major holidays, important celebrations or occasions such as the first day of Lunar New Year, first day of thanksgiving holiday, wedding party and child’s 100 days celebration.

Hanbok on Korean lunar new year


But Hanbok is not very popular for young generation in Korea during festivals, celebrations or important occasions. They prefer to wear the Hanbok for photo shoot with friends or lover.

Many shops in Seoul offer Hanbok rental services, young people renting Hanbok and visiting the palace or traditional village for photo shoot and fun!

Hanbok photos with friends


Korean weddings and child’s first birthday celebration is one of the important facets of Korean culture.

Nowadays, the bride will wear wedding dress, Hanbok and wedding Hanbok for wedding photo shoot and wedding party. After the wedding party there is a short Korean ceremony, the ‘‘Pyebaek’’, which is for family members only. The bride and groom will wear the wedding Hanbok and bow to their parents.

Korean Wedding Dress


First birthday celebration called ‘’Doljianchi’’ (돌 잔치) in Korea. Relatives invited to attend the birthday celebration. All the family, relatives and friends celebrate in a restaurant or hotel depends on their budget. This celebration blesses the child with a prosperous future and has taken on great significance in Korea.

Korean Child's Brithday


Hanbok also became very popular for foreigners because of Korean drama.The colorful and Elegant Hanbok make the actors and actresses look very gorgeous. So why not try on the prettiest Hanbok during visit Korea?

Korean Drama Hanbok


The beauty of Hanbok promoted around the world on a Hanbok fashion show. From traditional to modern designs, various Hanbok modern designs combine all the unique designs, traditional and Korean culture.

Hanbok Fasion show


What does compose a Hanbok?

For women:

  • Jeogori: the upper part of the hanbok, the “jacket.”
  • Otgoreum: the two ribbons knotted to close the jeogori
  • Dongjeong: the white collar, aimed to highlight the neck
  • Chima: the skirt

For men:

  • Baji: the large pants
  • Gat: the traditional hat
  • Durumagi: the traditional coat wore for special events
  • Beoseon: the socks wore by men and women

Wearing a hanbok is about not only the dress but also the head. Before getting married, men and women wore a long braid. Then, the hair was knotted, in a topknot at the top of it’s head for the men and in a low bun for the women. To make the bun to stay still and also as a decoration, a pin was added; its material and length changed according to the class rank of the women.

hanbok traditional korean dress

As said above, there were different hanbok depending on your status in the society. Today, different hanbok exist for the various events where it can be worn:

  • Dol hanbok: “dol” is the first birthday of a child and is celebrated to wish them a long and successful life.
  • Myeongjeol hanbok: during the Lunar New Year, children express their respect for their parents, prostrating themselves in front of them. Both parents and children wear a hanbok.
  • Hollyebok: the wedding hanbok; with more ornaments and decorations than a traditional hanbok.
  • Hoegabyeon hanbok: to celebrate the 61st and wish them health and a long life, children organize a party for their parents where they (children and parents) wear a hanbok.
hanbok traditional korean dress
Dol Hanbok


In 1996, the Government, to boost Korean to wear the hanbok, created a “Hanbok Day”.


Do you want to try a Hanbok ? Check our Hanbok Photoshoot Tour or join our one day old and new Seoul city tour.

Hanbok Photoshoot Tour includes photo shooting but old and new Seoul city tour is not includes photo shooting, our guide will bring you to the rental shop near the palace.


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