Chuseok: Korean Thanksgiving

Erith Won, Reporter

In the United States, the month of thanks is November, but for Korea, it’s October. Korea’s Thanksgiving is called Chuseok(추석). Chuseok is on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar and falls on a different date every year. This year, it’s on October 4th.

Chuseok is a celebration of harvest and according to the lunar calendar, the full moon is supposed to appear on this day. Chuseok traditions include memorials and visiting graves, visiting family members and eating food, and playing games and dancing. On this day, many Koreans wear hanbok, which is traditional Korean clothing.

Hanbok is made from silk, satin or cotton. The fabric can be made from other fabrics as well, but in the past, silk, satin, and cotton were mainly used. For men, hanbok consists of a jeogori, which is the upper part of the hanbok and baggy pants. For women, the hanbok consists of jeogori, otgoreum, which is an ornamental part of the hanbok,  and a chima, which is a skirt.

On Chuseok, many Koreans dance and play traditional games such as jegichagi. Jegichagi is a game where you use your feet and a jegi, which is almost like the shuttlecock used in badminton. They also honor the dead and visit family members’ graves.

The traditional food of Chuseok is songpyeon(송편). Songpyeon is a small rice cake shaped like a half moon. It is usually stuffed with sweet red bean paste or nuts or sesame seeds.