Celebrate Chuseok, aka Korean Thanksgiving!

Celebrate Chuseok, aka Korean Thanksgiving!

It’s almost Chuseok time! Korean Thanksgiving features just as much food, family, and tradition in September!

by Rachelle "Roach"

The start of fall doesn’t just mean back to school and sweater weather for Koreans. It also means it’s time to celebrate Chuseok, the holiday in which Koreans give thanks for what they have and take a break to enjoy time with family away from the demands of school and work. It's pretty much like Korean Thanksgiving! The three days of the holiday are ripe with history and traditions, such as celebrating the harvest for the year and honoring their ancestors. Even little details, like where the food is placed on the table, for instance, can make all the difference. Even our favorite idols get in on the traditional celebrations and garb! Check out GFRIEND's Chuseok greeting from this year!

  Here’s what to expect if you’re invited to a Chuseok celebration with friends or family:   When is Chuseok? The date of Chuseok changes every year, but it is always in September or October, right around when the harvest is coming in and the seasons are changing. In 2016, Koreans will celebrate from September 14 to September 16. And Koreans can expect some pretty terrible traffic.   What To Wear: Many Koreans break out their hanbok (한복) for Chuseok. It’s the traditional Korean dresswear that you might recognize from period dramas and/or K-pop stars Instagram photos around holiday season. Many Koreans have one or two of the colorful, billowing outfits that were worn during the Joseon Dynasty. Here's SEVENTEEN with a vibrant arrangement of male hanboks! seventeen Mamamoo wonderfully work the two-tone look. mamamoo Apink and BtoB make cute colorful couples here! apink_btob  

Where To Celebrate: Many Koreans celebrate Chuseok in their hometowns or the hometowns of their ancestors. One of the traditional Chuseok rituals, jesa (제사), pays tribute to their relatives who have passed. There are several forms of honor. Some families visit and fix up their family members graves. At the graveyard or back at home, many families eat a special meal with several specific food preparations and presentations designed to peacefully pay respect to and give thanks to the spirits of their ancestors. charye   What to Eat: You’re not going to go hungry over Chuseok. You’re probably not going to go hungry at any Korean gathering, for what it’s worth. But since this holiday is centered around the harvest and giving thanks, there’s plenty of food to go around. The Chuseok staple is the songpyeon, a half moon shaped rice cake that looks a bit like a dumpling. It’s usually filled with a red bean paste, a honey sesame mix, or a chestnut paste. They’re steamed over pine needles, which adds a festive aroma to the colorful treats. Often, families spend hours in the kitchen preparing them together. Even if cooking isn’t your thing, it helps to be in the kitchen. That way, when serving time comes around, you know which color dumpling is stuffed with your favorite filling. songpyeon Other dishes vary between families, but themes are similar. You will, of course, have several types of kimchis. You can also expect dishes that use late summer and fall produce like squash and Asian pears. Look forward to some jeons, the Korean pancake-like food with different fillings like scallions and seafood. Then of course you’ll get a few variations of marinated beef and fish. Top if off with some more rice cakes, and you’ve got yourself a Chuseok feast. Happy Chuseok from everyone at SnackFever! 

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