Korea Festivals

Date: Is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.
Activities:Chusok, also known as the Korean Thanksgiving, is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.  Chusok means a great day in the middle of August. It occurs during the harvest season.  Thus, Korean families take this time to thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits. The celebration starts on the night before Chusok and ends on the day after the holiday. Thus, many Korean families take three days off from work to get together with family and friends. The celebration starts with a family get-together at which rice cakes called "Songphyun" are served. These special rice cakes are made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, and chestnuts.  Then the family pays respect to ancestors by visiting their tombs and offering them rice and fruits.   In the evening, children wear their favorite hanbok  (traditional Korean clothing) and dance under the bright moon in a large circle. They play games and sing songs. Like the American Thanksgiving, Chusok is the time to celebrate the family and give thanks for their blessings.


Event: Hansik
Activities: Hansik is 105 days after Dongji and is one of the four major festive holidays including Seollal, Dano, and Chuseok. The term Hansik is derived from an old custom of not lighting fire, thus eating cold food. It is said that the origin of this holiday goes back to ancient China where the day was made to console Gaechachu, a loyal subject of Jin. Being chased by a treacherous subject, Gaechachu was in hiding at Mount Myun. Knowing Gaechachu's loyalty, Mungong went to find Gaechachu only to return with nothing. Mungong's last attempt to find Gaechachu was by setting fire to the mountain. Yet Gaechachu did not come out and was burned alive. Ever since then people had a custom of eating cold rice to commemorate his death. This day, the country holds sacrificial rites at Jongmyo (Royal Shrine) and Neungwon. Citizens hold their own memorial services and visit their families' ancestral graves. If the grave is worn they lay fresh turf in a custom called Gaesacho. People also plant trees around the grave. Farmers also spread seeds from the farmhouse.

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