Korea - Chu'sok
The meaning of Chu Suk is easiest described as, "Bountiful Abundance". Chu Suk is a very carefree time in Korea, during this day happiness and joy seem to be in everyone's lives. Chu'sok is the Korean Thanksgiving festival, a time when Koreans gather to commemorate their ancestors, to honor their memories and to be with their families. This harvest moon festival is performed on the 15'th day of the 8'th lunar month, ie, on 24th of September. Early on this morning, Koreans perform an ancestor worship ritual with an offer of food made of new crops to thank their ancestors for giving them good fortune.Legend
Ch'usok is believed to have originated during the ancient Shilla Kingdom, when a month-long weaving festival was held. For the contest, the king divided the city into teams and appointed princesses to lead them. The king announced the winner on the day of the eighth full moon and the losing team had to provide food, drink, and entertainment and a party involving the whole city followed.
Ch'usok is celebrated by farmers and city dwellers, and everybody can have fun on this day. For the women these kinds of festivals are a very good day for them, because they can feel free, and not hide themselves when they want go out. For the men it was also very fun, but they had a lot of parties to make themselves happy. Family members come from all parts of the country to visit their ancestral homes. So they go to their graves and they bow and also give them very special food which they made for the festival so probably their ancestors will be very happy too.Food Eaten During Ch'usok
On this day, the Koreans make rice based preparations. Though they eat rice and other foods in their normal days but on Ch'usok, they make lots of things special for their ancestors. The rice cake, "Songphyun" is made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, & chestnuts.
The Koreans eat Songpyon, the full-moon rice cakes stuffed with sesame, beans, chestnuts, or Chinese dates, Khaegangjong, YakGwa and yultanja, prepared out of rice flour, chestnuts and honey as a special food in Ch'usok. Song Pyun is made out of rice flour and newly harvested grains and fruits. Khaegangjong is made out of sesame seeds.