New Year's Offering Ceremony(-茶禮)

New Year's Offering Ceremony

Headword

설차례 ( -茶禮 , Seolcharye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JungJongsoo(鄭鍾秀)

Seolcharye (Kor. 설차례, lit. New Year’s tea offering ceremony) is the custom of paying respects to ancestral spirits on Lunar New Year’s Day by offering food to the spirits. The practice is also referred to as jeongjo darye (Kor. 정조다례, Chin. 正朝茶禮, lit. tea offering ceremony in the first morning). If the New Year’s offering is a bowl of rice flake soup, it is called tteokguk charye (Kor. 떡국차례, lit. rice flake soup offering).

In traditional Korea, many families had their own family shrines located in or in the vicinity of their houses. Families held ceremonies honoring their ancestors at these shrines on most of the important festival days. Today, such shrines are rarely found, and the food offering ceremonies take place only twice a year, on Lunar New Year’s Day and on Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The object of worship during these ceremonies are the four closest generations of ancestors, i.e. one’s deceased parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great grandparents. An individual memorial service for these ancestors is also held on the day of their death. The utensils used during the food offering ceremony are not significantly different from those used during the annual memorial ceremony. The latter ceremony is usually simpler since it honors only one ancestor, while the New Year and Chuseok offering ceremonies are designed to pay respect simultaneously to a large number of ancestors.

Offering ceremonies are intended to inform the ancestors of the changes in time; the reason the Lunar New Year’s offering ceremony is considered important is because Lunar New Year’s Day ushers in the beginning of spring and the New Year.

New Year's Offering Ceremony

New Year's Offering Ceremony
Headword

설차례 ( -茶禮 , Seolcharye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JungJongsoo(鄭鍾秀)

Seolcharye (Kor. 설차례, lit. New Year’s tea offering ceremony) is the custom of paying respects to ancestral spirits on Lunar New Year’s Day by offering food to the spirits. The practice is also referred to as jeongjo darye (Kor. 정조다례, Chin. 正朝茶禮, lit. tea offering ceremony in the first morning). If the New Year’s offering is a bowl of rice flake soup, it is called tteokguk charye (Kor. 떡국차례, lit. rice flake soup offering).

In traditional Korea, many families had their own family shrines located in or in the vicinity of their houses. Families held ceremonies honoring their ancestors at these shrines on most of the important festival days. Today, such shrines are rarely found, and the food offering ceremonies take place only twice a year, on Lunar New Year’s Day and on Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The object of worship during these ceremonies are the four closest generations of ancestors, i.e. one’s deceased parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great grandparents. An individual memorial service for these ancestors is also held on the day of their death. The utensils used during the food offering ceremony are not significantly different from those used during the annual memorial ceremony. The latter ceremony is usually simpler since it honors only one ancestor, while the New Year and Chuseok offering ceremonies are designed to pay respect simultaneously to a large number of ancestors.

Offering ceremonies are intended to inform the ancestors of the changes in time; the reason the Lunar New Year’s offering ceremony is considered important is because Lunar New Year’s Day ushers in the beginning of spring and the New Year.