Chuseok holiday is from September 13 to 15. The actual Korean thanksgiving day falls on September 14, a Sunday. Chuseok holiday changes every year as it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.
I’m so thankful that we have such a short Chuseok holiday. The Korean Chuseok exodus begins tonight but thankfully, we won’t have to join the biggest parking lot in the world — Korean expressways on a holiday! We’ve been celebrating the holidays in Seoul since 2006, when my first brother-in-law transferred to a bigger 44-pyeong apartment.
I remember my first Chuseok back in 2003. It was horrible! We didn’t have a car then and my husband had to work until the day before the holiday. We weren’t able to buy train tickets in advanced and of course, buses here don’t allow people standing like back home. We had standing only train tickets and since so many people were traveling that day, we were packed like sardines. It was my first train experience (not counting the LRT/MRT of course) and it was so unforgetably horrible. I had too much “skinship” with my co-passengers for almost three hours!
They say that Chuseok is really the men’s holiday. Us myeoneuri (daughter-in-law) spend our time in the kitchen preparing side dishes and all those food offered for the ancestors. In my family though, my mother-in-law makes it a point that men also help. The men in my family are in-charged of washing the dishes and making the “songpyeon”, a special rice cake for Chuseok. Since I’m the third daughter-in-law, I’m not expected to work as hard as the other daughters-in-law. This Chuseok though, my husband and I shopped for the Chuseok food. Our budget for this year? 350,000 won! My first sister-in-law also asked me to do the marinade for the “kalbi” or ribs. I did it last Monday and the ribs are now sitting inside the kimchi fridge. Time to find diet pills that work for all the eating that we’re going to do!
We’ll be going to my brother-in-law’s house on Friday night and we’ll be back on Sunday night. Something that I’m thankful for this holiday – I’m not the first daughter-in-law! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ