Last month, we threw an intimate “Galsgiving” event at the dRA store alongside our friends @skinesque (www.skinesque.com). We wanted to incorporate the tradition of Chuseok, a harvest festival celebrated in Korea.
Scholars trace Chuseok’s origins to the shamanistic worship ritual of giving thanks to the harvest moon and ancestors. Farmers would show their gratitude and pay homage to their ancestors by presenting them with their new harvest. They believed that in return, their Winter would be blessed with warmth and plenty of food. They would then share their food with friends, family, and neighbors.
No festival is complete without great food and Chuseok is no exception. Preparing the delicacies is a lengthy process that requires a lot of help due to the quantity and variety of foods to be made. The food is meant to serve the ancestors. Therefore, Koreans believe that the more effort you put into making it, the more respect you are paying for them. A variety of foods are prepared during Chuseok to celebrate the bountiful harvest of the year, and one of the most significant foods that represent Chuseok is songpyeon.
Songpyeon is prepared with rice powder that is kneaded into a size that is a little smaller than a golf ball, and then filled with sesame seeds, beans, red beans, chestnuts, or other nutritious ingredients. During the steaming process, the rice cakes are layered with pine needles to add the delightful scent of pine. It is an old tradition for the entire family to make songpyeon together on the eve of Chuseok.
To help us practice this tradition we invited Jennifer from @rice_blossoms to host a rice cake workshop. She told us about an old Korean anecdote that says that the person who makes beautifully shaped songpyeon will meet a good spouse or give birth to a beautiful baby. We definitely noticed all of our guests trying a tad bit harder after hearing that. =)
It was a beautiful event and we were so grateful to share this tradition with our old and new friends.
We hope you’re all having an amazing Holiday season. See you in 2020!