Back then my Korean is still very limited. I remember I tried google-translating the message then and got a fail result (with Suna Unnie’s spelling games + the ever unreliable google translator = nonsense). But I somehow got it as a new year greeting. I immediately forgot it afterwards.
The next time I encountered this new year greeting was during the 2009 SBS Year End Drama award. It was my first time to watch a Drama award in full and on time. I watched without any subtitles and I can only understand about 5% of it. But thanks to that awarding ceremony, this new year greeting finally stuck. Well, who wouldn’t be able to memorize it when, for 2 solid hours, every 5 minutes, different varieties of 새해 복 많이 받으세요 was said by every actor present on the show (of course my Kim Sun Ah included)? Even my mom, who were watching with me then, has picked up this greeting and can still perfectly say it up to now (to my surprise).
This new year though, I also learned the version with a hanja. 새해 福 많이 많이 많이 받으세요. 福 (복) means blessings. I think I also first encountered it with another one of Suna Unnie’s new year messages, but I simply ignored the hanja. But this time, the hanja stuck because of the drama Tree With Deep Roots.
Everyone, 새해 福 많이 많이 많이 받으세요. Happy New Year!