Chuseok / Korean Thanksgiving Day

Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving Festival, also known as Hangawi, is one of the most important festivals in Korea. It is also known as harvest festival which is held around the Autumn Equinox. People in Korea celebrate the festival as a three-day-holidays starting from the day before until the day after Chuseok.

Date of Chuseok / Korean Thanksgiving Day

Chuseok is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in lunar calendar. Thus, Korean people sometimes refer to the festival as Hangawi which means the “ides of August” (August 15 in lunar calendar). Due to different date calculations between lunar calendar and Gregorian (Western) calendar, the date of Chuseok in Western calendar vary from year to year.

When is Chuseok 2013 / Korean Thanksgiving Day 2013?
Chuseok 2013 or Korean Thanksgiving Day 2013 falls on Thursday, 19 September 2013. Korean Thanksgiving holiday starts from Wednesday, 18 September 2013 until Friday, 20 September 2013.

When is Chuseok 2014 / Korean Thanksgiving Day 2014?
Chuseok 2014 or Korean Thanksgiving Day 2014 falls on Monday, 8 September 2014. Korean Thanksgiving holiday starts from Sunday, 7 September 2014 until Tuesday, 9 September 2014.

Origin of Chuseok / Korean Thanksgiving Day

Many Korean savants believe that Chuseok originated from the ancient harvest festivals. On those festivals, the ancient society had a tradition of offering some harvests to the deities and ancestors to show gratitude and pray for another good harvest in the following year. Currently, the celebration of Chuseok is still closely related to some worship rituals.

Chuseok / Korean Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Chuseok is a three-days holiday in Korea starting from one day before until one day after Chuseok. Many people use the day to visit their hometown and gather with all family members so that they are able to perform worship rituals. Thus, public transportation in Korea is usually crowded during Chuseok.

On Chuseok holiday, Korean people pay respect to their ancestors by visiting their graves, cleaning the area around the tombs, and give offerings in the form of flowers, foods, and drinks. Usually, people also have traditional Chuseok food such as songpyeon (rice cake in a crescent shape), japchae (Korean sweet potato noodles), and bulgogi (marinated barbecue pork, chicken, or beef).

Besides those traditions, people in Korea also play some folk games including tug-o-war, archery, ssireum or Korean wrestling, and Korean plank (wooden board game played by women). Some traditional Korean dances are also performed during the celebration of Korean Thanksgiving Day.

Happy Korean Thanksgiving Day 2013 ! Happy Chuseok 2013 !