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[PyeongChang 2018] Korean Olympic athletes mark Lunar New Year with joint traditional ceremony

South Korean Olympic athletes took part in a joint ceremony on Friday to mark the Lunar New Year, when Koreans pay respects to their ancestors and eat a family meal with traditional soup.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee set the table for the traditional service for ancestors at Team Korea House in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, as the Olympic athletes celebrate the Lunar New Year apart from their families. 


Every name of the 220-member Team Korea was recited as the joint service began. The chief delegate for Korea Kim Ji-yong bowed down and made an offering of liquor as part of the traditional procedure.

Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan and Korean Sport & Olympic Committee chief Lee Kee-heung joined the ceremony, along with athletes, including Aileen Frisch, a German-born luge player who is competing as a Korean athlete in the Olympics.

Bowls of "tteokguk," soup with sliced rice cake topped with egg and beef, were served as part of the breakfast eaten during the holiday.

Minister Do wished the athletes good health and the best Olympic performances, saying, "I hope the honor and joy of each athlete will lead to the honor and joy of the Koreans."

In the nearby county of Inje, Gangwon Province, North Korean cheerleaders who are currently in South Korea for the Olympic Games marked the Lunar New Year with a quiet joint breakfast of Korean soup and other traditional dishes.

Clad in their uniforms of red and white training suits, the North Korean cheerleaders showed up for the breakfast at Inje Speedium Hotel & Resort, their accommodation in South Korea.