What is Chuseok?
Chuseok ("choo-suhk") is one of the biggest holidays in Korea. It is sometimes referred to as "Korean Thanksgiving" because it is a special time for family, friends, and food.
When is it?
September 10, 2022
This year Chuseok is 10 days earlier than last year (September 10, 2022).
For how much longer?
From September 9th to 12th.
At the beginning of October there will be a big Korean national holiday. Chuseok , the Korean Thanksgiving Day, is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea. In 2022, Chuseok Day falls on September 9th. Since the day before and the day after also belong to the public holiday
The Story of the Moon Rabbit
The folklore of the mid-autumn harvest
D id you know that mid-autumn thanksgiving celebrations around the world are attributed to lunar folklore? When you look at the full moon in Korea, you might see the image of a rabbit baking rice cakes. But what is that rabbit doing up there?
This legend comes from Buddhist lore and its retelling differs slightly between countries. The story as it relates to Chuseok goes like this: A fox, a monkey and a rabbit are devoted disciples of Buddhism. One day they let the Emperor of Heaven test their faith. The emperor disguises himself as a beggar and asks the animals for something to eat. Each animal gathers food on its own, with the fox bringing back fish, the monkey bringing back fruit, and the rabbit bringing back some grass. Because of the rabbit's weak sacrifice, it decides to set the grass on fire and jump in to offer itself to the beggar. The emperor was so moved by this that he appointed the rabbit guardian of the moon.
There are important symbols in the image of the moon rabbit - fertility, longevity and harvest. The rabbit is a sign of fertility that complements Chuseok's celebration of bountiful harvests. In the Korean retelling, the rabbit is said to be standing under a Gyesu tree. The tree is a sign of longevity due to the medicinal uses of the cinnamon in its bark. The rice cakes it makes are a staple of the Korean harvest and symbolize an appreciation of the mid-autumn harvest, along with good wishes and dreams.