Samjitnal - The Return of Spring

Celebrated on the fourth day of the third month of the lunar calendar, Samjitnal celebrates the return of the migrating magpies and the return of Spring after months of cold winter.

Read more: 삼짇날 - The Return of Spring

Hansik - Spring Planting

Hansik is the day of planting seeds for the upcoming season.  Celebrated on the 105th day after the winter solstice, the day generally falls on the third month of the lunar calendar.  It is on this day that many of the families would perform Ancestral Memorial Rites.

Read more: Hansik - Spring Planting

Sambok - The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer can get anyone down and out.  Considered one of the hottest days of the year, certain foods are eaten the bolster the stamina and counter the hot, humid days of summer in Korea.

Read more: Sambok - The Dog Days of Summer

Muoh - The Day of the Horse

The tenth month of the lunar calendar is considered the best month of the year.  On this Day of the Horse, rice cakes are prepared for the health of the horses.  Ancestral Memorial Rites for the fall season is performed on this day.  Farmers also perform rituals to Dangun, the father of the Korean Nation, on this day.

Read more: Muoh - The Day of the Horse

Buddha's Birthday

This day is celebrated as the traditional birthday of Buddha in Korea (and is translated as the Day that Buddha Came).  Meals prepared with vegetables grown near by the temple are shared the monks at temples to be shared with the worshippers. 

Read more: Buddha's Birthday

Chilseok - The Passing of Summer

Chilseok is celebrated on the 7th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.  On this day, it is said that Gyeonwu and Jiknyeo, separated by the heavens, are allowed to meet.  When it rains on that day, this heavenly couple shed tears of both joy and sadness.

Read more: Chilseok - The Passing of Summer

Winter Solstice - Dongjit

Falling around the time of Christmas (December 25th), the Winter Solstice is celebrated in Korea by making and eating of Red Bean Porridge (congee).  It was believed that the Red Beans would block the bad spirits from entering the house.  Therefore, after it was offered to the Ancestors, a bowl of the porridge would be placed in various rooms of the houses and spread on the main gates.

Read more: Winter Solstice - Dongjit

Foods for April

Foods enjoyed in the month of April includes various rice cakes, noodles mixed with red pepper paste and other vegetables, and various meat dishes.

Read more: Foods for April

Buddhist All Soul's Day

A midsummer festival that is celebrated throughout East Asia, the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar is a day of memorial for souls passed on.  Buddhist temples prepare 100 type of different foods, including rice and liquor, and perform memorial rites for the souls in the world beyond.

Read more: Buddhist All Soul's Day

December - The Last Month of the Year

On the third day after the Winter Solstice, people would hunt and offer a wild boar or pig to the Heavenly Father as a token of thanksgiving of his mercy through the winter.  It was on this day during the Joseon Dynasty that a grand festival was held in the honor of the Heavenly Father.

Read more: December - The Last Month of the Year

Yudu - Celebration of Summer

Yudu, celebrated on the 15th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar, is celebrated by washing hair in the easternly flowing waters.  By doing so, it was believed that all the impurities and uncleanliness would be washed away.  The day also marks celebration of Ancestral Memorial rites by offering freshly picked fruits that are in season.

Read more: Yudu - Celebration of Summer

The Double Nine Festival Day

Considered a day of blessing (as is days with double odd numbers, such as Chilseok or Dano), the Double Nine Day, or JoongYangJeol is a day of celebration.  Various foods and drinks made with Chrysanthemum and flower motifs are eaten.  Much like the Jewish Holiday of Purim, the day of celebration includes drinking liquor made with Chrysanthemum among friends and family.

Read more: The Double Nine Festival Day

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is a day of reflection and contemplation for many Koreans.  On this day, all outstanding debts are settled, and any chores that needed to be done are completed on that night.  And in some places, the dinner that was prepared for that night must be eaten fully before the night passes.

Read more: New Year's Eve

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