Happy “Chuseok” everyone!
Chuseok, the biggest holiday in Korea, is held on August 15th of the lunar calendar. During this festive three-day holiday, Koreans celebrate the harvest season by traveling to their hometowns, spending quality time with their family and friends, and giving thanks to their ancestors. Basically, you can think of it as the Korean equivalent to Thanksgiving.
On Chuseok, Koreans have traditionally adorned themselves with beautiful Korean traditional dress, hanbok, and shared a feast of Korean traditional foods such as songpyeon. Songpyeon is a half-moon shaped rice cake stuffed with ingredients such as sesame seeds, black beans, mung beans and honey, steamed over piles of fresh pine-needles to add aromatic fragrance and taste.
Back in my younger days in South Korea, all the women in my family gathered in a circle over bowls filled with rice dough and many delightful fillings to make songpyeon. My grandmother would look at me and say, “if you make pretty songpyeon, you will have pretty daughters.” Then, I would look over my mother’s songpyeon to make sure hers was pretty enough and be contented. This was also the time when my grandmother told me what my mother was like as a little girl and when my aunts and mother shared bits and pieces of their married life. Listening to their endless chatter, I worked harder on my songpyeon for my future daughter. This is one of my favorite holiday memories.
We want you to join us and get in the “Chuseok spirit” of giving thanks for all the good things in life and sharing good times and laughs with the people you love and cherish (although you probably won’t get a three-day break from work!).