Chuseok

Chuseok or Hangawi is one of the most famous Korean harvest festivals. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. The festival lasts for three days. In 2014 it is held between the 7th and 9th of September.

On Chuseok people go to their home towns. There they perform rituals honouring the spirits of their ancestors. They also visit cemeteries and clean family tombs. They make food, drink and crops offerings to their ancestors.

Chuseok offerings
Chuseok offerings

During Chuseok Koreans traditionally eat half-moon shaped rice cakes called songpyeon. Certainly that is not all. People also prepare japchae, bulgogi (neobiani) and various fruits. The most common drink consumed for the occasion is rice wine.

When visiting someone on Chuseok people bring gifts that usually include some Korean pears, apples or Korean beef (hanu).

In village communities some people disguise themselves as a cow or turtle. They go from house to house accompanied by the band performing traditional nongak (pungmul) music. Depending on the region Chuseok festival also includes ssireum (wrestling), archery, teeterboard (Korean plank) and other competitions.