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Posted by on Oct 3, 2009 in Commentary | 0 comments

A lot to be thankful for at Chusok- INSIDE JoongAng Daily

A lot to be thankful for at Chusok- INSIDE JoongAng Daily

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The Osan, Gyeonggi warehouse of retailer Lotte Mart is stuffed with holiday gifts ready to be shipped out to ensure arrival by the Chusok holiday. Photo courtesy of YONHAP.
Chusok is a major Korean holiday which lasts for three days. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Korean lunar calendar.

Koreans gather together with extended family to eat traditional foods, annual ancestor ceremonies and to go to the family burial ground to tidy up the grave-sites of recently deceased family members, which is somewhat similar to American Memorial Day. 

It’s also called Korean Thanksgiving because it is a harvest festival when Koreans express gratitude to God (or their ancestors) for granting another successful harvest. It’s also one of the main gift-giving holidays of the year with family and friends shipping gifts to each other.

Just like Americans have special foods to eat during Thanksgiving, Chusok has its own special foods as well, including Song-pyon, which is a steamed rice cake stuffed with sweetened bean past. 

Another similarity between Chusok and Thanksgiving is the day-after-Thanksgiving diet.  They say the average Korean gains 5 lbs during Chusok. After all, Chusok lasts for 3 days, Thanksgiving is only for one day. However, anyone can tell you that it’s a lot easier to put the weight on than to take it off. 

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