Sunday September 23-26, 2018
“Chuseok” is Korea’s Thanksgiving Day which takes place during the season of harvest. Considered one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea, it is celebrated by gathering with family and giving thanks to their ancestors. The official Thanksgiving Day falls on September 24th, but days prior and after are also celebrated. Today, many Koreans use this holiday as an opportunity to go on vacation.
Typically, many people visit their hometowns to spend quality time with their parents and extended family. It’s also a time to show respects by visiting grave sights of ancestors and making “Bul-cho” by removing the weeds and cleaning the surrounding grave sights and preparing a simple memorial service.
“Cha-leh” is when traditional Korean food is prepared to show respect. It’s a very intimate and careful preparation of Korean dishes, each having its own placement within a table. Some other common dishes are “Songpyeon” rice cakes shaped like the half-moon crescents symbolizing a bright future. “Japchae” – is a stir-fried glass noodle dish with mixed vegetables and beef. Another popular dish is “jeon or pajeon” – Korean pancake which can be a mix of variety of vegetables and meats. Most commonly, it’s made of scallions and chives, but it can be made with “Kimchi” – a Korean staple of fermented cabbage.
Folk games are celebrated in traditional garb and instruments like “samulnori” is a percussion quartette that is played in unison. There is also the “talchum” – mask dance amongst enthusiastic performers and “jultagi” – tightrope walking.