Chuseok: A Korean Thanksgiving
So we’ve arrived at the the holidays once more, friends. Congrats on surviving another year! Now just to survive the hustle and bustle of the chaotic holidays… Good luck to one and all!
So one question; have you ever wondered what Thanksgiving day is like in other countries? I used to assume, when I was younger, that the whole world celebrated Thanksgiving. Of course, this isn’t the case; not every country had settlers gather with the Natives for a harvest meal. Today I’ve decided to focus on where our newest teacher, Miss Kate, used to live because of the resent interest I’ve had in learning on Korean history, language, and culture.
In South Korea they celebrate Chuseok. While it’s the equivalent of the U.S. Thanksgiving, it’s celebrated over a couple of days and usually takes place in the last couple weeks of September or the first couple weeks of October. It changes due to the fact that it’s based on the lunar calendar. This year it was on the 27th.
They eat traditional foods such as songpyeon, which is a rice cake stuffed with sweetened sesame seeds, pine nuts or chestnuts, and shaped like a half moon.
They gather together as family and share stories, eat special foods, and give thanks to their ancestors. Protestant Koreans don’t typically take part in giving thanks to their ancestors, but will take the time to gather and play games.
Practicing Hindu Koreans will give thanks to their ancestors, speak to them, and even offer them food. Some visit the graves of their ancestors and clear the weeds around them. This is called Seongmyo and Beolcho.
After the meal, there are many activities in which the families can watch for entertainment, much like how we have our Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or town parades. They can visit the Korean Folk Village, the Deoksugung Palace,
and even Jongmyo. Many of these places hold special holiday programs in which the families can enjoy.
For more information
on Chuseok, check out Visit Korea: Chuseok!
Have any knowledge on holidays similar to Thanksgiving from other countries? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!