Although Christians comprsie only around 25% of its population, south Korea recognizes it as a public holiday. Korean non-Christians who otherwise go about their daily routine on December 25 may participate in some holiday customs such as gift giving, sending Christmas cards and setting up decorated trees in their homes.
On Chistmas Eve the youth of the churches have a traditional Christmas pageant. Then from about midnight until 5 a.m. on christmas morning, they break into small groups and go carolling with an appointed church member. It is traditional that when one hears acrollers outside his home or apartment, he opens the door to listen and then invites the entire group into his home for hot drinks and snacks.
After catching an hour or two of sleep, the sleepy teen and sponsor find himself in church at 11 a.m. on Christmas Day for the traditional Christmas worship service. The worship is followed by the baptism and the reception of enw members into the church (teens as well as older adults). A traditional Christmas dinner is usually served at the church in a time of fellowship following the worship, baptismal service and the reception of new church members. Usually the meal may include ddeok guk (rice cake soup), bulgogi (barbecued beef), naeng myeon (clear noodels made from sweet potatoes or green mung beans) and the ever-popular gimchi (spcy pickled Chinese cabbage).