It's that time of the year! The autumn season is finally here! And who else is excited about the cool weather, multicolored trees, and ready to wear their autumn-themed clothing? What about spending quality time with those you are close with and eating delicious food? While all of these can be considered the little things in life, in the unexpected year of 2020, we should all be grateful for these little things and embrace them as much as we can to spark positivity within our lives.
Autumn Eve, also known as "Chuseok" or "Hangawi" (한가위) in Korean, is a great way to pay tribute to all of the little things that were mentioned above. Chuseok is a Korean national holiday; Very much like the U.S.' holiday, Thanksgiving. Chuseok is a harvest festival that is spent three days straight and is a time when Koreans visit their hometown and spend time with their loved ones. This year, Chuseok fell on October 01, 2021, and was celebrated from September 30, 2021 - October 04, 2021, (three days, including the weekend).
From eating delicious food to spending quality time with family, Chuseok is also a time when Koreans pay respect to their ancestors, play traditional games, and participate in traditional entertainment. Chuseok is a big national holiday in Korea and can also be a great way for foreigners to experience traditional Korean Culture while visiting Korea.
San Francisco's Korean Center Inc. + Their Chuseok Festival Goes Virtual:
For those who do not live in Korea, nor are visiting Korea right now, the Korean Center Inc. (KCI), provided a two-week virtual Chuseok Festival event that took place over Zoom, YouTube, Twitch, and their Facebook page. Last year, KCI held its first Chuseok Festival at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. From live concerts, traditional performances to local Korean food vendors, booths were set up to educate people on Korean Culture and the celebrations of Chuseok! However, as COVID-19 took a hit at mass public gatherings, KCI faced the challenge of making this year's Chuseok Festival happen. Thanks to accessible technology that everyone can use around the world, KCI decided to take their public event for Chuseok into the virtual world!
Here are some events that took place!
"Dynamite" - BTS Dance Tutorial
Virtual Chuseok Closing Ceremony
SF KCI Virtual Chuseok Festival Was a Success:
The virtual Chuseok Festival lasted from September 30, 2021 - October 11, 2021, and was a success! From cooking tutorials, K-Pop choreography tutorials, and educational Korean Culture videos, were just some aspects of what made this Chuseok Festival great. What made this even greater was KCI getting local Korean run businesses on the scene through a scavenger hunt! For those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the scavenger hunt was based on locals eating at local these Korean restaurants or buying products or services from these Korean businesses. There were a few winners; And whoever went to the most places by the end of the contest would get a prize that ranged from gift cards to a Korean crafts kit!
The biggest shout out is definitely to the KCI team for putting together the virtual Chuseok Festival and all the people that joined the events. Not only did people from the San Francisco Bay Area attend, but those around the country and around the world who heard about the festival were able to attend. While the Chuseok Festival would have been great in-person, having the ability to have even more people attend the festival was a benefit in itself. KCI is known for its great work involving the Korean and Asian-American communities within the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find more information about them by visiting the Korean Center Inc. website and learn about all of their upcoming events, Korean language classes, and youth programs taking place right now!
Didn't know about the virtual Chuseok Festival? Check out their YouTube channel by clicking on the video links above and visit the Korean Center Inc. website! You will also find their Facebook and Instagram pages as well in their "About" tabs. Will you attend next year's event in person or virtually?
Written by Jenna Tokioka