One rather unique holiday in South Korea is called “Chuseok”. Chuseok means “Autumn Eve” in Korean and is a harvest festival that lasts for three days straight. It is scheduled based on the Korean lunar calendar, but it also always comes around the time of the Autumnal Equinox, which comes in late September.
|2020||30 Sep to 2 Oct||Wed to Fri||Chuseok|
|2021||20 Sep to 22 Sep||Mon to Wed||Chuseok|
|2022||9 Sep to 11 Sep||Fri to Sun||Chuseok|
|2023||28 Sep to 30 Sep||Thu to Sat||Chuseok|
|2024||16 Sep to 18 Sep||Mon to Wed||Chuseok|
Chuseok is sometimes referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving” due to its harvest associations and its timing in Autumn. Many South Koreans visit the home town of their ancestors for Chuseok and feast there on traditional foods like songpyeon, a rice cake with a special stuffing that is steamed over pine needles, and rice wine. Korean pancakes and fresh fruits are also commonly consumed during Chuseok.
There are typically ancestor memorial services held in Korean homes on this holiday, and people will also visit the graves of their ancestors. In some rural areas, it is tradition for some people dress up like cows or turtles and wander from door to door as part of a musical band. Many exchange gifts as well, and games like archery contests, tug-o-war, and Korean wrestling are often played.