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Sock-Gift on Winter Solstice

Dongji heonmal (Kor. 동지헌말, Chin. 冬至獻襪, lit. gift of socks on Winter Solstice) is a custom observed on Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice) in which women sew quilted socks for their female in-laws, such as grandmothers, mothers, aunts or sisters-in-law. When household finances allowed it, Korean women of the past sewed new clothes for their elderly in-laws and children. The custom was a gesture expressing hope for both good crop yields and abundant offspring. Accordingly, the practice was

Korean Seasonal Customs

Stone Lifting

Deuldol deulgi (Kor. 들돌들기, lit. stone lifting) is the activity of lifting heavy stones conducted as part of a rite of passage when a boy is accepted by his community as a grown man. It is also a popular folk entertainment and usually took place at major seasonal festivals such as Jeongwol Daeboreum (Kor. 정월대보름, Great Full Moon Festival, the fifteenth of the first lunar month), Yudu (Kor. 유두, Chin. 流頭, Water Festival, the fifteenth of the sixth lunar month), Chilseok (Kor. 칠석, Chin. 七夕, the seven

Korean Seasonal Customs

King Taejong's Rain

Taejongu (Kor. 태종우, Chin. 太宗雨, lit. King Taejong’s rain) refers to rain falling on the tenth of the fifth lunar month, the day when King Taejong (1367-1422) of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) died. There are different views on the origin of the term taejongu. One perspective suggests that the Joseon’s third ruler, King Taejong, was full of worries on his death bed because of a severe drought devastating his kingdom. He said at the time of his death that he would “pray to the Jade Empe

Korean Seasonal Customs
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