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Rice with Leftovers

Goldongban (Kor. 골동반, Chin. 骨董飯) is a dish made with leftovers, eaten on Seotdal Geumeum (Kor. 섣달그믐, Lunar New Year’s Eve). The idea is that families must get rid of all their leftovers before the year draws to an end. Mixing various ingredients with rice results in a dish similar to bibimbap (Kor. 비빔밥), which is consumed on the last day of the lunar year. Goldongban is described in the “Gudong Shisanshuo” (Kor. 골동십삼설, Chin. 骨董十三說), a book written by a Ming-Chinese author by the name of Dong Qic

Korean Seasonal Customs


Ganggang Sullae Ring Dance

Ganggang sullae (Kor. 강강술래) is a female-centered ring dance performed on the night of Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The custom originated in the southwestern part of Korea and is currently observed in most parts of the Korean Peninsula. Arguably the most typical group activity for women, ganggang sullae combines group entertainment with dancing and singing. It is primarily performed outdoors on the night of Chuseok, under the full moon. I

Korean Seasonal Customs


Boat Ritual

Baegosa is a worship ritual to pray for a big catch and safety on a boat. This ritual is held privately by boat owners to worship the boat guardian deity Baeseonang, or as part of communal rituals like pungeoje or dangje. As a private ritual, baegosa is observed on seasonal holidays, among which the biggest is held on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon) on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It is also held when a new boat has been purchased or constructed; when setting out for a catch;

Korean Folk Beliefs


Korean Hacky Sack

Jegi chagi (Kor. 제기차기, lit. hacking jegi) is a game similar to the Western game of hacky sack. It is played by kicking a shuttlecock-like object called a jegi (Kor. 제기) into the air. A seasonal game associated with the Lunar New Year holidays and winter time in general, jegi chagi is mostly played by children. Jegi chagi originates from a ball game called chukguk (Kor. 축국, Chin. 蹴鞠) that dates back to antiquity. Both jegi and jegi chagi are vernacular translations of the Chinese word chukguk. Ch

Korean Seasonal Customs


Weaving Games

Gilssam nori (Kor. 길쌈놀이, lit. weaving game) refers to different kinds of entertainment enjoyed by Korean women in the past during weaving competitions. These competitions began early in the seventh lunar month and ended on Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The custom is also known as duresam (Kor. 두레삼), gilssam dure (Kor. 길쌈두레), gongdong jeongma (Kor. 공동적마, Chin. 共同績麻), and deulge (Kor. 들게), and included telling tales, dancing, singing, and p

Korean Seasonal Customs


Document of the groom’s horoscopic data

A document containing the would-be groom’s horoscopic data, the hour, day, month, and year of his birth by the lunar calendar, sent to the wouldbe bride’s family. When a m arriage proposal was made, the groom’s family sent to the bride’s family a document containing the information of the birth of the groom and wrapped in a double-layered cloth. In Jeollanam-do Province, the document was accompanied with a few gifts, including enough fabric to make a jacket and skirt for the bride. The document

Korean Rites of Passage


Buckwheat Noodles with Seasoning

Goldongmyeon (Kor. 골동면, Chin. 骨董麵) is the name of a dish that consists of buckwheat noodles topped with slices of meat and vegetables and is eaten with a spicy sauce. The word goldong (Kor. 골동, Chin. 骨董) means a variety of ingredients that are mixed together. The seasoning originally was soy sauce-based, but today it is customary to make it from red pepper paste. Goldongmyeon is part of the culinary tradition of cold noodles, or naengmyeon (Kor. 냉면, Chin. 冷麵), popularly eaten in winter (particul

Korean Seasonal Customs