Korean holidays and celebrations

All Korean holidays are based on the lunar calendar. The two most important are Seolnal and Chuseok. Chuseok, also known as the Harvest Moon Festival, is a time for Thanksgiving and honoring one’s ancestors. In the morning, the family gathers around the ancestral shrine to participate in memorial rites showing respect to the ancestors. Afterwards, they share songpyeon, a rice cake made from beans, adzuki, chestnuts, jujube, and other grains. They may play a game called Gama Fight. Here, two teams play. Each team has a sedan chair equipped with four wheels. The object of the game is for one team to either capture or destroy the other team’s chair. Yut is another popular New Year’s game. Everyone eats rice soup since this will bring them good fortune in the year to come. Families also visit the ancestral graves and pay their respects. There is music and dancing while people sing songs asking for good fortune. Children also make promises to obey their elders all year.

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