Korean Thanksgiving Day

I was glad that I won’t have classes for the next few days because the Thanksgiving day(Chuseok) was approaching, but soon I started to think otherwise, because I had no plans for Chuseok. In Chuseok, most of the stores and restaurants are closed, and people go to their hometowns to visit their families and relatives.

I didn’t know what to do, but then one of my Korean friends told me about the Chuseok festival which would be held in Gwanghamun, one of the popular tourist attractions in Seoul. I went there with my other friend.

Chuseok festival at Gwanghamun Plaza, Seoul

I wanted to know more about Chuseok, so I asked my Korean friends about it. They told me many things but here I have tried to summarize the important things.

Korea Thanksgiving Day is called ‘Chuseok’ and it is the most important holiday in Korea. In the past, it was the time when families used to get together and pray to their ancestors for the good harvest. But now, it is the time when families meet to spend time together. It is celebrated for three days during the month of September.On Chuseok morning, family members gather to offer prayers to their ancestors, and then they eat special rice cakes called ‘Songpyeon’. They also visit the graves of their ancestors. People wear traditional clothes i.e., ‘Hanbok’ during Chuseok. The family members also play traditional games and make rice cakes, and it is believed that the one who makes pretty rice cakes, will meet a good spouse or give birth to a healthy baby.

There were many different stalls. You could play traditional instruments or learn Korean calligraphy or make handicrafts. There was also an exhibition of ancient household items. I could see that the kids were enthusiastic to participate. It is a good way to teach young kids about their culture and tradition. The foreigners were also having a good time. They were participating in traditional games and other activities. The volunteers were there to help. Overall, it was a fun experience.

If I hadn’t visited the festival, I would have died out of boredom. I got to learn so many things about Korean culture. I must thank my Korean friend for informing me about the festival. If you are already in Korea and interested in Korean culture, or you happen to visit Korea during Chuseok, please don’t miss the festival where you can experience Korean culture.

Happy Chuseok! ! ! 추석 잘 보내요^^


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