chuseok : korean thanksgiving day

Korea’s Thanksgiving Day: Chuseok Holiday

Chuseok is one of the most important Holidays in Korea. Families all gather together and share food to pay respect to their ancestors. For this reason, Chuseok is also known as the “Korean Thanksgiving”. Every year, Chuseok falls on different dates, depending on the Lunar calendar and it usually lasts 2 to 3 days. This year (2019) the festivities will start on September 12th and end on the 14th. 


How do Koreans celebrate Chuseok :

what is chuseok holiday-food-ceremony

During these dates, most of the people living in Seoul go back to their provinces to celebrate this holiday with their families. Some of the rituals made during this 2-day celebration include:

Ceremonial Visits 

Families gather all together and visit their ancestors’ graves to pay respects to them. They clean the grave, cut the grass around them and have a simple memorial service to commemorate them.

Food Services

In the morning, families hold a memorial service in which they prepare food offerings to give to their family ancestors. These offerings are the famous half-moon rice cakes, alcohol and freshly harvested rice. 

Dances and Folklore

Chuseok is a celebration. Therefore, different games and dances are performed. There’s a  dance in which women wear Korean traditional dresses and dance around in circles. Another dance involves the use of masks and also, men participate in a one-on-one wrestling match, for which a lot of strength is required.

What you should be aware regarding Chuseok :

Because Chuseok is a moment to spend with family, a lot of people go back to their hometowns during these days. If you are planning to travel around Korea during Chuseok, we recommend you to book your train tickets in advance. Try doing it at least 1 month before but the earlier you do it the better. Also, avoid using buses, because the highways get packed with cars the day before and after Chuseok. So you can also expect a lot of traffic. 

Another important thing to take into consideration is the fact that many stores are closed, including restaurants. And many services, like the post office, are put on hold during these days. So you might be getting your September JoahBox a bit later than usual. But don’t worry, the products that we have included in this month are worth waiting for. 


Do you have similar celebrations in your country? If so, how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to subscribe to JoahBox to get the best K-Beauty products every month!