"Chuseok" Holiday Past and Present
This year Chuseok comes early on September 25, 2007, one of Korea?s major holidays. According to the solar calendar, the official Chuseok holiday is from September 24 to 26.
As one of the three major holidays, which include Seollal and Dano, Chuseok is also known as ?Hangawi,? which means the very middle of August, or August 15 according to the lunar calendar. As an agrarian society throughout history, Hangawi was the day in which Koreans thanked the ancestors for the year?s harvest and shared their abundance with family and friends.
Although the exact origin of Chuseok is unclear, Chuseok can be traced back to a religion related to the moon from ancient times. The sun was considered natural, but the full moon that came once a month brightened the dark night was a grateful presence. Therefore, on August 15 according to the lunar calendar was the day of the largest full moon, and thus became one of the most important days of celebration to this day. Also, because Chuseok symbolizes the harvest season with a rich abundance of food during mild temperatures, the saying ?no better or worse, but be just like Hangawi (Chuseok)? originated.
On Chuseok day in the early morning, family members gather at their homes to hold a memorial service in the honor of their ancestors. Formal ancestor-memorial services are held twice a year during Seollal and Chuseok.
The difference between the two services is that during Seollal the major representative food is white tteok-guk, a rice cake soup while during Chuseok the major representative food is newly harvested rice. After the service, the family members sit down together at one table to enjoy some delicious food to symbolize being blessed.
Now let's see how Chuseok holiday was in the past. Photos from http://blog.empas.com/dbscksals/23635977
Buying traditional dress Hanbok at the market for Chuseok, 1976.
SUGAR was the most popular Chuseok present of 1960th and 70th, 1970.
Taking Chuseok pictures, 1976.
Ancestral service, 1980.
Chuseok morning even now begins with a traditional ceremony "Charye" of an ancestral service, when family members put a special food set and bow down in front of the ancestor's names.
Chuseok holiday causes big traffic jams and it is hard to get train or bus tickets all over the country, the same was in the past.
Taking a bus during Chuseok holiday at Gwangju Bus terminal, 1970.
Taking a train during Chuseok holiday, 1969
Inside the train during Chuseok holiday, 1969
Waiting for a bus on Gwangju bus terminal during Chuseok Holidays, 1982
Coming back after Chuseok holidays, 1980.