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Chusok is celebrated in Korea on the full moon (ie on the fifteenth day) of the eighth lunar month of the Korean calendar.

Read the reasons behind the celebration of this festival.

Chusok is a harvest festival, a thanksgiving feast, when the Korean people remember their ancestors with gratitude and thank them for the autumn harvest. The celebrations last for three days, starting on the night before Chusok, and continuing till the day after.

The festival is also called 'Hangawi', which means 'a great day in the middle of autumn', ie the 'day' of the Harvest Moon. Hangawi has been celebrated for many centuries. Its origins can be traced back to the early days of the ancient Korean kingdom of Shilla, to a weaving contest that used to be held between two teams. In the reign of King Yuri (24 B.C.-57 B.C.), women weavers would gather in the royal palace a month before Hangawi. The weavers would be divided into two teams, each team led by a royal princess. On Hangawi, the team that had woven the most cloth would be declared the winner by the king. The losing team had to then provide a feast for the winning team, a feast in which the entire city would end up taking part.

Chusok cont'd...  next page
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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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