Chuseok: South Korea’s Biggest Holiday

Chuseok also known as, Hangawi is a harvest festival South Korea celebrates together. Held during mid-autumn and a three-day holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon.

It is believed to be originated from the shamanistic worship ritual of giving thanks to the harvest moon and ancestors. Farmers would express their appreciation and pay honor to their ancestors by offering them their harvested crops, believing that they will have a winter with bountiful food,

Today, South Koreans often wear their traditional clothes, Hanbok, when visiting their hometown to spend time with family and also visit their ancestral graves while dedicating a special dinner table to their ancestors. The family would meet for large feasts after meal preparation and ancestor worship. While other families spend time doing family activities together, some go to the deep mountain graveyards where their ancestors are buried. Women usually prepare food for the family’s ancestors and the celebration. There are many different dishes such as Songpyeon, rice, soup, rice cakes, fruits, seasoned vegetables, pork, beef, fish, traditional drinks, and desserts.

During this holiday Koreans give gifts to their relatives, friends, and business acquaintances to show gratitude. The favorites are gift sets such as hanwoo beef, red ginseng, fresh fruits, skincare, traditional Korean snacks, Spam, and of course cash.

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