Long History, Brilliant Culture
15th day of the eighth lunar month is called Chusok in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
It is a national holiday during which people make full preparations for harvesting the year’s grains and celebrate a good harvest. It has been long celebrated as the greatest holiday in the year.
The Koreans began to celebrate Chusok as a great holiday from the period of the Three States.
“The Chronicles of the Three States,” a book compiled by Kim Pu Sik (1075-1151), a feudal government official of Koryo (918-1392), in the year 1145 says about handweaving ( process of weaving cotton cloth), a game enjoyed especially by on this day. It says in Silla (A.D. first century-935) people were separated into groups for joint handweaving which began on July 15 and gave marks and on the day of Chusok the defeated group prepared foods and enjoyed with songs, dances and amusement games all day long,
It also says that the sporting games of the Chusok included swinging contest and Korean wrestling.
On this day people made foods with the year’s new grains and visit the tombs of their ancestors. Among the main foods of this day were glutinous rice-cake and songphyon (half-moon-shaped rice cake). The visit to the tombs of their ancestors was based on the worship of the ancestors in the feudal days meaning that the ancestors would taste the new grains before the harvest. It shows the beautiful traits of the Korean people who respect their elders and promote the friendly ties between relatives.
The Korean people regard Chusok as the national holiday of Autumn. On the occasion of the holiday they visit the tombs of their ancestors and cut grass grown around the tombs in summer.