It’s that time of the year with Chuseok, (the Korean Harvest Moon Festival) right around the corner.
In 2016, Chuseok holiday falls on September 15, the day before and after also celebrated as National Holidays.
Koreans previously followed the lunar calendar, but in recent history, they have followed the solar calendar in line with international practice.
While public holidays are based on the solar calendar, there are a few days that are celebrated based on the lunar calendar. These are the two most important traditional holidays, the Korean New Year’s Day (the first day of the first lunar month) and Chuseok mid-autumn festival (fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month).
In mass, (and I mean a substantial part of the population) families travel back to their home villages. Over the holiday they may perform ancestral rituals at the graves of relatives as well as share time with their family over traditional foods.
For your Korean colleagues (in Korea), you can wish them a happy Chuseok by phone, text, or email on Monday September 12 after 4 PM (Tuesday AM in Korea). Again, most Koreans will have a 5-day weekend starting their Wednesday …
For expat Koreans working outside Korea, here and globally you can wish then happy Chuseok on Thursday September 15.
If you’d like to try, here’s a common greeting.
추석 잘 지 내 새요
Chuseok jal ji nae sae yo..
To conclude, even though many things have been changed by Korea’s rapid industrialization, urbanization, and globalization we find in the celebration of Chuseok that family remains one of the bedrock of Korean society.