Sunday, September 11, 2011

[Blogpost] HAPPY CHUSEOK DAY! 추석 잘 보내세요

Wishing everyone HAPPY CHUSEOK DAY! 추석 잘 보내세요

Origin Of The Chuseok Festival And Its Name

The custom of celebrating the harvest season dates back to the Three Kingdoms’ Period (57 B.C. – A.D. 668) when Silla (57 B.C – A.D. 935), one of three big kingdoms that ruled the southeastern part of Korean Peninsula held a big fe  ast for the occasion of full moon. The festival was also called “hangawi” with “han” meaning “big” and “gawi” meaning “middle.” Such is roughly translated as the “big middle” or the “big day in the middle of the 8th month.” According to “Samguksagi,” the Historical Record of the Three Kingdoms, written by the scholar Kim Bu-sik around 1145, the word “gawi” also came from the word “ga-be,” meaning “to compensate” (“gap-da” in modern Korean).

Here’s the reason for the meaning “compensation.” During the reign of King Yuri Isageum, the third monarch of Silla, two groups of weaving women led by two princesses gathered in the palace to compete in a weaving competition. The weaving, which began in the middle of the 7th lunar month, went on for nearly a whole month. On the 15th day of the 8th month, an evaluation was made of which team had woven the most. The losing team had to compensate by serving feasts and entertaining them with song and dance. “Heeso-gok” is the song that the losing team sang during the party that became famous for the sad yet beautiful notes.

It seems the word “ga-be” continued to remain unchanged at least throughout the Goryeo Dynasty (A.D. 918-1392) as proved by some remaining folklore of that period. The ballad “Dong Dong” told women’s sentiments according to the festivities of each season. The fact that “gawi” was a big event in the Silla Kingdom is also evidenced in China’s “History of the Early Tang Dynasty (舊唐書)” that described the customs of the neighboring countries. In the chapter for Dong-I (Eastern tribes) the book writes that Silla highly valued the harvest festival with revelry, music and archery competitions.

Later, however, hangawi came to be referred to more formally as “chu-seok” and also as “jung-chu-jeol” partly due to the usage of Chinese characters borrowed down the road. “Chu (秋)” is the Chinese character for “autumn.”

In modern South Korea, on Chuseok there is a mass exodus of Koreans as they return to their hometowns to pay respects to the spirits of their ancestors. People perform ancestral worship rituals early in the morning. They often visit the tombs of their immediate ancestors to trim plants and clean the area around the tomb, and offer food, drink, and crops to their ancestors. Harvest crops are attributed to the blessing of ancestors.

One of the major foods prepared and eaten during the Chuseok holiday is songpyeon (송편), a crescent-shaped rice cake which is steamed upon pineneedles. Other foods commonly prepared are japchae, bulgogi and fruits.




Leader, HyungJunnie & JungMinnie Wishing Everyone Happy Mid-Autumn Day!

Now let us enjoy the performance of our boys during Chuseok 2008.

And lastly our dear 4D leader in WGM Chuseok Special! 

WGM Chuseok Special (1st Season) Part 1 by Ssangchu4Ever

WGM Chuseok Special (1st Season) Part 2 by Ssangchu4Ever
WGM Chuseok Special (1st Season) Part 3 by Ssangchu4Ever

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