Chuseok Festival 2016

Chuseok or Hangawi – the time of Autumn – is a big festival and a holiday in Korea.  It is essentially a harvest festival and is celebrated on the 15th day in the 8th month – by the lunar calendar.  Just like other harvest festival, it is held at the Autumn Equinox.  During this time, Koreans visit their hometowns and celebrate by having a big feast of traditional foods and rice wine.  This is to commemorate a good harvest.

Origin of Chuseok Festival:

It is believed that Chuseok originated from Gabae. Gabae was set in motion during the rule of the 3rd King of Shilla.  It was originally a month long contest in weaving between two teams.  On the day of Gabae, the team who had the most cloth was given a feast by the losers.  Scholars believe that Chuseok may have shamanistic origins and celebrated the Harvest moon. 

Chuseok Present Times:

In present day South Korea – Chuseok prompts a mass migration of Koreans to their hometown to pay their respects to their ancestors.  Many perform rituals early in the morning and visit the tombs of their ancestors.  They clean the area, trim shrubs and offer food and drinks at the graves.

Chuseok Foods:

Some of the traditional foods prepared and eaten during this holiday are songpyeon – a crescent rice cake steamed and laid on a bed of pine needles.  Other foods are japchae, bulgogi and fruit.  All of these are accompanied by rice wine.

Chuseok Games:

Many games are also featured during this festival.  People dress up like cows or turtles and go from house to house, playing music. Games usually played during this time are Tug of War, Archery and Wrestling.  In some regions, Plank – a traditional board game – is played by women and children.

Chuseok Dates:

Year Date
Chuseok 2000 September 12
Chuseok 2001 October 1
Chuseok 2002 September 21
Chuseok 2003 September 11
Chuseok 2004 September 28
Chuseok 2005 September 18
Chuseok 2006 October 6
Chuseok 2007 September 25
Chuseok 2008 September 14
Chuseok 2009 October 3
Chuseok 2010 September 22
Chuseok 2011 September 12
Chuseok 2012 September 30
Chuseok 2013 September 19
Chuseok 2014 September 8
Chuseok 2015 September 27
Chuseok 2016 September 15
Chuseok 2017 October 4
Chuseok 2018 September 24
Chuseok 2019 September 13
Chuseok 2020 October 1
Chuseok 2021 September 21
Chuseok 2022 September 10

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