Day of Grain Rain(穀雨)

Day of Grain Rain

Headword

곡우 ( 穀雨 , Gogu )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Terms

Writer SeoHaesook(徐海淑)

The sixth of the twenty-four solar terms, Gogu (Kor. 곡우, Chin. 穀雨, lit. Grain Rain) follows Cheongmyeong (Kor. 청명, Chin. 淸明, Day of Pure Brightness) and precedes Ipha (Kor. 입하, Chin. 立夏, Beginning of Summer). It is usually in the middle of the third lunar month and occurs around April twentieth on the Gregorian calendar. Gogu, literally meaning “grain rain, ” is the day when spring rain generates the growth of farm crops.

Around the time of Gogu, rural households prepare rice seed beds and proceed with other activities inaugurating the farming season. This timing explains the existence of many popular sayings which associate Gogu with farming: for instance, “All crops wake up on Gogu”, “Expect a drought if the weather is dry on Gogu day” and “A rainy Gogu is not good for crops”.

On the day of Gogu, farmers placed rice seeds in a large crock jar filled with water so that the seeds would expand before they were planted in the rice beds. The straw sacks where the seeds were stored over the winter were covered with pine branches. People had to cleanse themselves of evil influences before they entered their homes if they attended a funeral, witnessed an inauspicious event or fell victim to bad luck. This was done by hopping over a bonfire set for this purpose outside the house gate. Even after the purification ritual, these members of the household were not allowed to look at or touch the rice seeds, as this was believed to delay germination and negatively affect the outcome of the year’s farming.

Day of Grain Rain

Day of Grain Rain
Headword

곡우 ( 穀雨 , Gogu )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Terms

Writer SeoHaesook(徐海淑)

The sixth of the twenty-four solar terms, Gogu (Kor. 곡우, Chin. 穀雨, lit. Grain Rain) follows Cheongmyeong (Kor. 청명, Chin. 淸明, Day of Pure Brightness) and precedes Ipha (Kor. 입하, Chin. 立夏, Beginning of Summer). It is usually in the middle of the third lunar month and occurs around April twentieth on the Gregorian calendar. Gogu, literally meaning “grain rain, ” is the day when spring rain generates the growth of farm crops.

Around the time of Gogu, rural households prepare rice seed beds and proceed with other activities inaugurating the farming season. This timing explains the existence of many popular sayings which associate Gogu with farming: for instance, “All crops wake up on Gogu”, “Expect a drought if the weather is dry on Gogu day” and “A rainy Gogu is not good for crops”.

On the day of Gogu, farmers placed rice seeds in a large crock jar filled with water so that the seeds would expand before they were planted in the rice beds. The straw sacks where the seeds were stored over the winter were covered with pine branches. People had to cleanse themselves of evil influences before they entered their homes if they attended a funeral, witnessed an inauspicious event or fell victim to bad luck. This was done by hopping over a bonfire set for this purpose outside the house gate. Even after the purification ritual, these members of the household were not allowed to look at or touch the rice seeds, as this was believed to delay germination and negatively affect the outcome of the year’s farming.