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, in Roman religion
Sol (sŏl), in Roman religion, sun god. An ancient god of Mesopotamian origin, he was introduced (c.220) into Roman religion as Sol Invictus by emperor Heliogabalus. His worship remained an important cult of Rome until the rise of Christianity.
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Sol (Lunar New Year in Korea)

Type of Holiday: Calendar/Seasonal
Date of Observation: January-February; first day of first lunar month
Where Celebrated: Korea
Symbols and Customs: Kite-Flying, Luck Ladle, Seesaw, Sieve, Tug of War, Yut
Related Holidays: Chinese New Year, Oshogatsu, Tet


Sol, named after the ancient Korean sun god, is the Lunar New Year celebration in Korea. Government offices, shops, and other places of business close from the first until the third day of January, but the New Year's celebration actually goes on for fifteen days. It begins on the first day of the first lunar month, when offerings of food and wine are arranged in front of the ancestral shrine in each Korean home. Then family members dress up in new clothes and pay visits to their relatives and neighbors. Each New Year visitor is entertained and offered food and wine; small children are given money, cakes, or fruit. Rice-cake soup, also known as New Year's soup or duggook, is a favorite.

Because each year has a corresponding animal symbol in Korea, the first day of the year bears that animal's name: the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the serpent, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the cock, the dog, or the pig. For example, in the Year of the Rat, the first day would be known as the Prime Rat Day, just as the first day of the Year of the Tiger is called the Prime Tiger Day. Each of these animal symbols has certain superstitions attached to it. For example, farmers believe that milling grain on the Prime Rat Day will cause rats to disappear during the year. In farming villages, therefore, young boys build "rat fires" in the fields out of dried weeds and straw in the belief that the more brilliant the rat fire, the richer the crop. Similarly, there is a folk belief that if any member of a family combs his or her hair on Prime Serpent Day, a snake is likely to invade the house during the coming year.

A number of rituals are performed on the fifteenth day of the New Year, also known as the "Great Fifteenth," which marks the end of the holiday season. The number nine is considered lucky on this day, and people routinely repeat their actions nine times-particularly children, who compete with each other to see how many "lucky nines" they can achieve before the day is over. Many of the customs associated with the Lunar New Year are derived from ancient folk beliefs regarding one's fortunes during the coming year. For example, farmers used to measure the shadow of a stick by moonlight on the fifteenth day of the first month, when the moon was high in the sky. They would place a pole in their gardens or fields and measure the shadow, whose length would tell them how much wind and rain they could expect in the coming year, how successful their crops would be, whether there would be pestilence and flooding, and whether the harvest would be plentiful. Similarly, women traditionally save all their loose hair by collecting it when they comb it and then burn it outside their front gates on the first day of the new year. They believe this will ensure a year's protection from disease.



It is common to celebrate the Great Fifteenth with kite-flying and kite-fighting, which is done by covering the kite strings with dried glue to which glass dust has Sol

Other East Asian New Years

he new year is celebrated at about the same time by several countries in Asia-including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam-and with many of the same customs, such as offerings to household god(s), housecleaning and new clothes, banquets, ancestor worship, and fireworks. The date of the new year in these countries is based on a lunisolar calendar, similar to or the same as the one used in China. The exception for this timing is Japan, which has employed the Gregorian calendar since 1873 and thus observes New Year's Day on January 1, though many older traditions remain.

The Chinese lunisolar calendar is based on the oldest system of time measurement still in use. It is widely employed in Asian countries to set the dates of seasonal festivals. The CHINESE NEW YEAR takes place on the new moon nearest to the point that is defined in the West as the fifteenth degree on the zodiacal sign of Aquarius. Each of twelve months in the Chinese year is twenty-nine or thirty days long and is divided into two parts, each of which is two weeks long. The Chinese calendar, like all lunisolar systems, requires periodic adjustment to keep the lunar and solar cycles integrated; therefore, an intercalary month is added when necessary. been added. When the strings from two kites cross and rub together, the string held by the more skillfully maneuvered kite eventually cuts through the string of the other kite, sending it crashing to the ground.

In some areas, the kite flying goes on throughout the fifteen days of the New Year's season. On the last day, the kite-fliers write the letters that mean "warding off bad luck" on the kite and fly it as high as they can, then cut the string and let it escape. This is a symbolic act that represents sending their bad luck for the year as far away as they can.

Luck Ladle

It is customary for Koreans to buy ladles made out of bamboo on New Year's Day. Ladle sellers begin making their rounds soon after midnight on the eve of Sol, so that everyone will have a new ladle to use in the kitchen. The ladle is thought to symbolize good luck because it was originally used to scoop and sort grains. By using the so-called Luck Ladle, people can only "scoop up" good luck.

In South Korea, rakes are hung on the wall or door in addition to bamboo Luck Ladles or baskets. The rake is used to gather kindling wood-an act which, like the scooping up of grain, is regarded as symbolic of good luck.


Bouncing on seesaws is a women's folk sport played in Korea during the New Year's holiday. Two women bounce each other up in the air by jumping on either end of a long board with a straw pillow or some other device in the middle to make it act like a seesaw.

There are a number of explanations for this unusual custom. One is that in ancient times, when the military arts were much admired and women were more active, they often rode horses with the men and even played polo. Board bouncing and other games were part of their training, designed to prepare them for any kind of national emergency that might occur. Another explanation is that seesaw bouncing can be traced back to the early Yi Dynasty, when women were forbidden to have any outdoor exercise. Desperate to see their sweethearts, they would seesaw in the hopes of catching a glimpse of them over the garden wall.


There is a legend in Korea about a night spirit that sneaks into houses during the night of the first day of the New Year and tries on the family's shoes. When it finds a pair that fits, it steals the shoes, giving their owner a year's worth of bad luck. To ward off this spirit, family members bring all of their shoes into the living room and go to bed early. They hang a sieve on the front gate so that when the back luck spirit arrives, it will start counting the holes in the sieve and be distracted. The hope is that it will have to start counting over several times-long enough for the night to end and dawn to break, at which point the spirit must leave. In some areas, people set off firecrackers to scare the night spirit away.

Sometimes people stretch a straw rope across their front gates to keep out the evil spirit and hide all their shoes indoors.

Tug of War

Tug of war has been a popular sport in Korea since the very earliest times. During the celebration of Sol, all of the inhabitants of a village will contribute straw, from which a huge rope is braided to about the thickness of a man's fist. The village is divided into two teams, and occasionally more people are recruited from neighboring towns. On some occasions, more than 10,000 people have gathered to take part in a tug of war, complete with trumpet-blowers, battle flags, and "cheerleaders" with gongs and cymbals. Since the contest often continues for hours, there is usually an intermission with singing and dancing, after which the tug resumes. A typical tug of war lasts three to four days, beginning at 11 a.m. and stopping at 11 p.m. every night. It is believed that the winning side will have a good harvest and will be protected from disease in the coming year.


Yut (also Yud) is a very ancient game that is played only in Korea during the New Year holiday. It is played with a set of four carved blocks of uniform size, with a flat side as the face and a rounded or convex side as the back. Although the rules of the game are too complicated to explain in detail, the blocks are cast three or four feet into the air, and the player is given a score based on the combination of flat and round sides facing up. This number determines how many spaces the player may advance his or her token on a game board or mat. The player or team that reaches "home" first is the winner.

Although Yut is played today mostly for amusement, at one time it was a popular method of divination used by farmers to see what the year's crops would be like or what their personal fortunes would be.


Henderson, Helene, ed. Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. 3rd ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. Sol

MacDonald, Margaret R., ed. The Folklore of World Holidays. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Sang-su, Choe. Annual Customs of Korea. Seoul: Seomun-dang, 1983.


Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles
Holiday Symbols and Customs, 4th ed. © Omnigraphics, Inc. 2009


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sol is the Latin word for Sun and the root of such words as solar and solstice.

The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A colloidal solution consisting of a suitable dispersion medium, which may be gas, liquid, or solid, and the colloidal substance, the disperse phase, which is distributed throughout the dispersion medium.


McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


January-February; first day of first lunar month; January 1-2
One of the biggest holidays of the year in Korea, Sol, or Lunar New Year, is celebrated largely by rural people and is a two-day national holiday. January 1 and 2, also national holidays, are celebrated more by residents of cities. On Sol, tradition calls for families to gather in their best clothes and for children to bow to parents and grandparents to reaffirm family ties. A soup made of rice dumplings called duggook is always served, and it is customary to play yut, a game played with wooden blocks and a game board. Young girls see-saw standing up. During early Confucianism, women were not allowed any outdoor exercises. See-sawing this way bounced them above their enclosing walls, and they could see their boyfriends. This made see-sawing a love sport and not exercise. It is still very popular.
Korea National Tourism Organization
2 Executive Dr., Ste. 750
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
800-868-7567 or 201-585-0909; fax: 201-585-9041
AnnCustKorea-1983, p. 19
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 72
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


the sun god. [Rom. Myth.: Zimmerman, 245]
See: Sun
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. short for new sol
2. a former French copper or silver coin, usually worth 12 deniers


a colloid that has a continuous liquid phase, esp one in which a solid is suspended in a liquid


Astronomy a solar day as measured on the planet Mars, equal to 24.65 hours
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005






Semantic Operating Language. Language for manipulating semantic networks for building cognitive models, particularly for natural language understanding. "Explorations in Cognition", D.A. Norman et al, W.H. Freeman 1974.


Shit Outta Luck.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The students then published "Stories Against the Silence: AIDS in the Latin Community," a 48-page special edition of El Nuevo Sol, CSUN's campus Spanish-language newspaper.