Chuseok is the traditional Korean harvest festival, Americans would see it as a Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving (though Chuseok existed long before Thanksgiving). Korean families travel to their ancestral hometowns to be with their families. It’s a time to focus on tradition- traditional foods, traditional hanboks (outfits), and traditional bowing to one’s elders. (Children sometimes receive money for each elder that they bow to, making it a potentially lucrative holiday).
At school, we celebrated with an all-day Chuseok event. It was a lot of fun watching the kids play traditional games, and I finally learned most of the names and rules!
The kids came to school in their traditional outfits, all of which were uniformly adorable.
First, we played ddak-ji, a traditional game that’s similar to Pogs. The game involves throwing folded papers as hard as you can at the ground, and unfortunately, the kids weren’t very good at it. Chloe, above, is debating if she picked the right ddak-ji piece.
Yut norie was much more successful. It’s basically a board game, but the students threw numbered sticks instead of dice to move forward on the board. Here, Shashanth moves two spaces ahead.
Justin is excitedly showing off his To-hoo arrow. Similar to horseshoes, the goal of this game is to throw the arrow into a narrow basket.
The kids also participated in a traditional Chuseok dance in the gym.
The school has an impressive set of traditional Korean artifacts, and here Bella models one of the stranger ones. In the past, a child who wet the bed was forced to wear a wicker basket on his or her head, and ask the neighbors for salt. It was supposed to be so shameful that the child would never wet the bed again…
We were also required to wear the traditional hanbok, a very beautiful, but also very boob-crushing garment, as the main skirt is designed to hide the wearer’s figure. Here we are, taking ourselves super seriously.