Today - september 30th - is Chuseok (추석) often called the Korean Thanksgiving. It is one of the 3 main Korean celebrations.
It is traditionally a celebration of the harvest and it is the time for families to get together and celebrate their ancestors.
Chuseok: A tradional celebration
Chuseok (추석) means "Autumn Night" and it is also known as Hangawi (한가위) "great middle of autumn". It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar when the full moon is the brightest of the year.
The celebration lasts for 3 days: Chuseok day, the day before and the day after.
On Chuseok day:
- Families get together, share food and traditionally wear traditional clothes (Hanbok). The table is usually covered with food beautifully arranged to pay respects to ancestors.
- One common food eaten is Songpyeon (송편), a small rice cake filled with sweet and steamed over pine needles (picture on the right).
- Families also visit the tombs of their ancestors to pay tribute to them. So millions of koreans go back to their hometowns (usually leading to traffic jam).
In the supermarket I could see several types of Chuseok gift boxes that surprised me as they were very practical gifts: tuna boxes with oil, fruits (really expensive fruits) or even bathroom supplies:
A doodle to celebrate Chuseok
One more thing: For this celebration Google has made a special logo (called doodle):
In 2013 Chuseok will be on September 19th.
Sources: wikipedia, kids.asiasociety.org