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Chusok(韩国中秋节)

2006-07-08 10:46

  September 24 ( Korea)

  Chusok ("fall evening") is a Korean "Harvest Moon" (Han-gawi) festival set on the 15th day of the eighth lunar moon. Chusok (韩国中秋节), also known as the Korean Thanksgiving or Mid-Autumn Festival, is one of the most celebrated Korean holidays. 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.

  Offerings are made of newly harvested foods. Songp'yon, crescent-shaped rice cakes stuffed with sesame seeds, chestnut paste or beans, are a Ch'usok favorite.The celebration starts with a family get-together at which rice cakes called "Songphyun" (蒸糕) 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. The Koreans visit the graves of their ancestors to bow and clean the area for the coming winter. 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.

  Community activities include masked dance, Kanggangsuwollae, an ancient circle dance, tug-of-wars and the tortoise game, kobuk-nori (乌龟游戏), in which two men dress as a tortoise and tour the villagedancing and performing for food and drink. Most of all, Ch'usok is a time to give thanks for the autumn harvest and reaffirm familial and community ties.

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