Korean Year End Party (aka Friendsmas) Explained

Koreans have a lesser-known tradition known as the “year-end party”.

It’s an exciting time to celebrate the end of the year.

Here’s how Koreans socialize in December!

Linguasia Korean Year End Party (aka Friendsmas)

What is a Year End Party?

Year-end party is commonly referred to as “yearend gathering“.

It’s unofficially the most significant and fun social event for Koreans. It takes place throughout December and marks the end of the year with a little bit of Christmas spirit.

These gatherings are a perfect way to fit in family, friends and dates on your social calendar.

Also, it’s an opportunity for people to meet up to maintain social connections, celebrate the accomplishments of the year, and look forward to the upcoming one.

What are the main types of Korean year-end parties?

1. Company Year-End Parties (Hoesik)

Linguasia Company Year-End Parties (Hoesik)

Many Korean companies hold year-end parties through a form of “hoesik” to boost employee morale, foster team spirit, and celebrate the achievements of the year.

These parties can range from formal dinners to more casual gatherings, and they often include various activities, games, and entertainment.

2. Friend Gatherings

Linguasia mulled wine for year-end party

Most people celebrate the year-end with a small group of friends. Different groups of friends each throw parties several times at homes, restaurants, hotels, or other event venues.

Year-end parties are a super fun time for friends to dress up for photoshoots, eat, drink some wine, have cake (this is mandatory), take more pictures, exchange gifts and of course reconnect while sharing stories from the year.

3. Family Gatherings

Linguasia family gatherings for yearend party

Year-end parties with family are heartwarming affairs. They can involve your direct or extended family. It’s more of a low-key party, focusing on eating delicious meals together at a BBQ restaurant, upscale establishment or home, while taking only a few group photos.

It’s a great opportunity for family members to see each other more often, reconnect, and express gratitude for the support received throughout the year.

What are some key aspects of Korean year-end parties?

1. Reflecting on the Year

Linguasia Reflecting on personal and professional growth from the year

Year-end parties often involve revisiting the milestones of the year.

It’s the right moment for individuals and groups to reflect on personal and professional growth, acknowledge their accomplishments, and express gratitude.

2. Gift Exchanges

Lingua Asia Kakao Friends Store Choonsik Goods

Gift-giving is a common practice during year-end celebrations. People often exchange presents to show goodwill and appreciation.

Gift ideas include food, beverages, tumblers, scarves, cute pajamas and other items.

3. New Year’s Resolutions

Linguasia New Year's Resolutions workout more

Similar to celebrations in the States, Korean year-end parties involve discussions about New Year’s resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. It’s the usual stuff like exercise more, eat better, and study harder.

As in America, there’s still no consensus on the difference between a resolution or a goal.

4. Photoshoot for Instagram

Year-end parties are also great for taking group photos with your friends and family, and sharing them on social media.


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