Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chuseok: Korean Harvest Celebration

This weekend is Chuseok in South Korea which is a three day harvest celebration comparable to American Thanksgiving. All the kids said they are going to their grandmother's houses and will be eating lots of songpyeon. In Korea, Songpyeon is to Chuseok like turkey is to Thanksgiving back home.

Everyone makes it!
 It's a soft little "dessert" thing made out of rice. I say "dessert" because it's not sweet. It kinda tastes like one huge grain of soft, soft rice with random nuts and spices inside. I think the outside part is made of rice flour and water, but I'm just guessing.  

It tastes horrible.

It sticks to the roof of your mouth and the sides of your teeth. The filling has the consistency of sand and I'm pretty sure there is some form of pine needles in it. I can't see why, but the kids all love it.

We don't have grandmothers in Korea and will definitely not be eating songpyeon but we have some perks too. One of which is, we get a four day weekend! Yay! Four whole days of freedom and bliss!! A four day weekend is the perfect opportunity to visit other parts of South Korea. However, we are both sick and the weatherman is calling for thunderstorms for most of the weekend so we decided to stay home and rest. A little stay-cation is just what we need at the moment.

Our other perk is, we get presents! A few of the students got us presents and the school gave us presents, too. The school gave us....wait for it....a spam and tuna gift pack! That is right. Spam, tuna, and two bottles of oil all nicely displayed in a bright yellow gift pack. Korean gift giving at its finest! They also gave us a box of 100 instant coffee packets.
 
Gifts we got from students include a set of his and hers traditional Korean slippers, cherry blossom scented body wash/lotion, and lip gloss. As you can see, Chuseok gifts can vary widely. One of the other teachers got a Costco sized box of pears!

Happy Chuseok!!!

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