> Korean Food Culture > Annual Customs and
It is the Korea's
best annual holiday, referring to the 15th day of August by
the lunar calendar and having a meaning that it is in the
midst of autumn and is the central day of August. It is also
called as Gabae, Gabaeil, Gawi, Hangawi, Jungchu, Jungchujeol,
or Jungchugajeol. Gawi and Hangawi are pure Korean words while
Gabae is how Gawi is read by the orthography of Idu.
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they go to their ancestors' graves and cut the weeds on them
grown during summer, which is so called Beolcho. In the past,
they used distant spots for their ancestors' graves because
they wanted them to be in ideal places by the theory of configuration
of the ground, or the graves were far from where they lived
since some of them moved to somewhere else after determining
spots for the graves. However, even in these situations, they
went to mow the weeds on the graves on Chuseok and thought
it was the sign and expression of filial piety.
In the early
morning on Chuseok, they gathered in the head family having
a shrine and performed ancestor-memorial services for their
ancestors of three generation. A difference in the services
between Chuseok and Seol is that they use cooked nonglutinous
rice on Chuseok unlike on Seol using white rice-cake soup.
Because they earnestly worshiped their ancestors and at the
same time added the services for heavenly gods, offerings
were made of fresh grains to be displayed. For the ancestors
upper than the three generations, they performed seasonal
memorial services in October in front of the graves of them.
is a play that is comparable to the month symbolizing abundance.
In an agrarian society, the full moon stands for richness
and is also related to women. Women are the core of production
and symbolize abundance themselves, so the full moon of Jeongwoldaeboreum
is compared to a parturient woman. Thus, playing Ganggangsullae
on Jeongwoldaeboreum can be the perfection of abundance because
women play together under the full moon of richness.
Sonori is a
play for wishing a year of abundance. After they disguise
themselves as cows with straw mats, and call on all the neighbors
and play gaily with them and share food together. Once two
men lie prone, facing their bottoms each other, cover them
with a straw mat. Under the mat, the front man holds out two
well-carved rods as if they were horns while the man in the
back lets down a rope as the cow's tail. At this time, a farmer
in front of the caw draws in the reins to lead the cow. The
caw is followed by a Korean traditional music band which adds
to the amusement. In Geobuknori, they disguise themselves
as turtles instead of cows.
a play for schoolboys at Seodang, which was transmitted until
the early 1900's in the Uiseong regions of Gyeongbuk. When
Hunjang (the teacher) left for his home on Chuseok, the boys
began to play it. Once they were freed from studying after
a long while, they gathered each other to make sedan chairs
and play with them.
one of the plays for Chuseok that cannot be missed for men
boasting their strength. This is played on Dano in May or
Baekjung in July of the lunar calendar, but is favored most
as a play for Chuseok. Once the Ssireum players in a village,
who are well-known for their strength, gather one another
regardless of their weight or age, they get to compete with
the players from neighboring villages as the players representing
the village. The strongest man is selected by competing with
each other on the spot until there is no more challenger,
and a man's winning every game is called 'Panmakeum (Bringing
a game to an end by winning it)'.
These are the
ceremonies for encouraging the unity of the people in a region.
The examples of these are Gangreungdanogut of the Gangreung
regions in Gangwon-do, Munhojanggut of Yeongsan in Gyeongnam,
and Hanjanggunnori of Gyeongbuk Jain. Each of these ceremonies
has some festival pattern of the people in a region as they
are related with various plays or events.
frequently played on Jeongwoldaeboreum but is sometimes done
on Chuseok as well according to the regions. The ?Dongguksesigi?
says, "One of the customs in Jeju is that on every August
15th of the lunar calendar, men and women gather one another
to sing and dance and make two teams and pull a big rope at
both sides of it to select the winner. Once the rope snaps
in the middle, both teams would be tumbled on the ground.
The bystanders would laugh aloud. This is called 'Jorijihui'."
This is the oldest record about our Juldarigi.