It’s already September, and one of Korea’s major holidays is happening this month. Chuseok or the “Korean Thanksgiving” happens on the 15th day of the 8th month, in the lunar calendar. It is usually celebrated in the autumn season in late September or early October which is also aligned to the harvest season. This year, Chuseok will happen from September 28 until September 30.
Chuseok is an important holiday when families reunite, give thanks and respect to their ancestors, share various foods, and celebrate the year’s bountiful harvest season.
How does the celebration take place? Usually, families begin it by paying respects to their ancestors by having a memorial service. They bow and offer food to their ancestors. All the families gathered, and after the service, they ate the food they prepared together. Some also go to their ancestors' graves to pay a visit and clean the place.
Families that gather together also prepare traditional foods like a variety of jeons (Korean pancakes), songpyeon (half-moon rice cakes), and more. They also play games, give allowances to younger generations, honor the elders, and more.
The holiday is all about honoring life and appreciating the gift of family.
Because it is one of the most important holidays in Korea, Korean celebrities also get the chance to go home, rest, and be with their families.
Instead of the usual programs on broadcast channels, each network has dedicated pre-filmed shows for Chuseok. Idols also dress in traditional clothing, hanbok, and send greetings to their fans.
Korean dramas and films showcase the good and bad sides of celebrating Chuseok. They portray the reality of Chuseok. It is indeed a time to reunite with families, but it is also the time when mothers are extremely busy preparing for everything. It is also the time to face your relatives and adjust to their different attitudes and sayings. It also indicates that it is similar to any families gathering together on important holidays around the world.