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Manwon Lender

The Korean Holiday Chuseok - Better Known in Western Circles as Korean Thanksgiving

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Manwon Lender

""Chuseok is the largest Korean Holiday and it is Known traditionally as Hangawi (한가위), marking the Lunar Calendar’s “great middle of Autumn”, Chuseok is a three-day holiday celebrating the full moon harvest and a long-standing cultural tradition rooted in ancient Korean history. The origins of Chuseok have been traced all the way back to the Three Kingdoms Period; ( 18 BC to 660 AD )a time when Korea was unrecognizable from today’s fast paced, high-rise metropolitan nation. Experts have also speculated that the holiday may have roots in ancient shamanistic celebrations of the harvest moon, during which offerings of food and drink were given to honor and respect ancestors and Buddha.""

""To this day, acts of familial worship, believed to date back thousands of years, are still among the most important customs of Chuseok. In the days leading up to Chuseok, families travel en masse to visit ancestral graves (seongmyo) and, as an act of respect and devotion to their forbearers, clear any weeds away from the area (referred to as beolcho). These days, Chuseok is a somewhat different affair, but the essence of the holiday is still upheld by many; Chuseok falls on September 20 this year,  cities will empty out and traffic will come to a stand-still. Families brave the highways and drive across the country to pay respect to their ancestors and spend quality time with their loved ones.""

""Despite Korea’s whirlwind transformation in the last century, many of the historic customs of Chuseok are still followed by the people of Korea, as part of a desire to preserve their nation’s rich cultural heritage.""



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