Everyone worldwide celebrates gratitude in different ways with their unique cultural practices, the food brought out only on this special occasion, and the way people gather. For those in the west, Thanksgiving is a special day to gather with family and friends to celebrate the things in our lives that go unnoticed.
There is also a Korean holiday celebrating gratitude through known Chuseok day or the Chuseok holiday, once referred to as Hangawi. This is all you need to know about the Korean Thanksgiving: Chuseok!
About two weeks before #Chuseok, on August 28, citizens visited Dongsan Memorial Park in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, and they are holding an early memorial service with their ancestral graves.https://t.co/3NPlnts6hN pic.twitter.com/U3SKAbwzfA— Discover Korea (@DiscoverKorea_) August 28, 2022
What is Chuseok: The Korean Thanksgiving Holiday?
Chuseok is the time where families gather and give thanks to their ancestors for the plentiful harvest. In Korean culture, it is also the time where family members in big cities go back to their provinces to enjoy quality time together with their parents and relatives and eat together newly harvested rice and fruits.
When is Chuseok?
Chuseok does not have an official celebration date as it changes each year unlike Thanksgiving from the west. Korean thanksgiving day always falls between September and October or the night of the first full moon. So if you may be wondering when is Korean thanksgiving and the best days to witness the celebration, you have to check the lunar calendar or visit this article every year to get the latest updates!
This year, it starts on September 09, 2022 and is celebrated over three days from September 09 to 12. Discover our Chuseok gift items, Chuseok food, and amazing collections for you and your pets here!
Each family prepares differently for this holiday, but many on the morning of Chuseok gather to hold a memorial service called Charye in honor of their ancestors. As they gather, many bring offerings and other Korean thanksgiving snacks like freshly harvested rice, alcohol. and songpyeon (half-moon rice cake).
During #Chuseok, it’s normal to visit the ancestral graves and pluck the weeds that have grown around the grave since last time. It’s considered a familial duty and a sign of devotion and often takes place already shortly before the Chuseok holiday itself.#KoreanThanksgiving pic.twitter.com/Khi6Y5qOzT— Rakeda Leaks, Ed.D. (@EquityIn203) September 22, 2021
Seongymo, visiting ancestral graves, many family members take this visit and remove any weeds around the grave as a sign of respect. Memorial services are also held in honor of their ancestors and they also offer Chuseok gifts like food. This practice has been celebrated by traditional Korean families until today.
Food is always something many look forward to when celebrating a holiday. For Chuseok, Korean thanksgiving food is sure to be found in any family’s gathering. Songpyeon, a rice cake smaller than a golf ball made from rice powder and filled with sesame seeds, red beans, and chestnuts!
Other Korean thanksgiving day food include, rice cakes, jeon (a Korean pancake made from any ingredient coated in flour and egg then pan-fried in oil), and for beverages, any traditional liquor is served.
Korean Thanksgiving Greetings
If you are visiting South Korea during the Chuseok holiday season, your Korean friends will visit their families during the holiday. So here are simple Chuseok greetings that you can send to them!
즐거운 추석 되세요. (jeulgeoun chuseog doeseyo)
즐겁고 풍성한 한가위 되세요. (jeulgeobgo pungseonghan hangawi doeseyo.)
즐거운 한가위 되세요. (jeulgeoun hangawi doeseyo.)
Chuseok is a holiday to honour and be grateful for the ancestors, it brings families together for a day of respect and peace. Being able to enjoy the presence of those around you and also celebrate the presence of those no longer with us is something to surely look forward to.
Chuseok is slowly approaching; how many of you will be celebrating? Check out the BTS [2022 DALMAJUNG] collection here.
- San Francisco's Virtual Chuseok Festival Was a Success!
- Happy (Belated) Chuseok, Daebak-fam!
- From San Francisco to Seoul: Learn About Korean Culture Through KCI’s Third Annual Bay Area Chuseok Festival
- Behind the Scenes at KCI’s 3rd Annual Chuseok Festival
- Celebrating Chuseok with Traditional Foods
- Your Chuseok Gift-Giving Guide
Cover Image: (x)
Written by Andrea Villarreal