Chuseok, the Thanksgiving Day of Korea -1 

What do you think of Thanks Giving Day? Some would have a smile on them remembering of their family gatherings and happy moments. 

Chuseok is simply a Thanksgiving Day of Korea.It used to be one of the most important days followed by the New Years Day. Back then, it was a time when people wished for prosperity and protection from the ancients from then till the end of the year. And it was when the harvest season was, so people had no problem sharing food with each other. The following is the picture of the old day’s Chuseok. 

Tae Jun Park archive, 1967

However, It wasn’t long since people started to go visit their families during Chuseok. As the Government has included one more day before and after Chuseok, people started to go visit the elders house since 1989. 

But it doesn’t mean that people travel nearby to visit their family. It was an era of modernization and manufacturing companies. So many people were coming to cities, and country side was coping with the changes causing mang problems such as lack of transportations and so on. Back then, the price of the vehicle was extremely expensive and somewhat rich people could own. So ticketing during Chuseok was an enormous project. And having no cell phones added up to the sitaution. The following pictures are people trying to book a ticket. 

People coming to take a bus, 1967 

People waiting for ticketing to start, 1969

Waiting for ticket booth to open, 1979 

Trucks provided to lessen the transportation shortage ,1970

People standing in line for ticketing, 1988

Would heading home be more faster? No way.It would’ve been different in the early 60s and 70s, but 80s was a different times. It was when everyone started to have cars. 

People stuck in traffic Jam, 1987

Traffic jam during Chuseok, 2016(MK News) 

Compared to these day’s Chuseok traffic jam, it seems the same. But trust me.. It is not traffic jam. It is more of a parking lot.

Unlike back then, we have train, subway, airplanes. So if you don’t like the crowd and waiting/standing on the road, there always is airplane. They are expensive but more convinient in so many ways. 

Nevertheless the hardship of “going home”, there is always a bliss of family gathering and lots of food shared with the loved ones. 

4 Generations on the commemoration ceremony, 1970s

As we can see from the obove photos, Chuseok is an important holidays of Korea and has lots of meanings for us. 

However, just like everyholidays (For instance, Christmas Day), the meaning and tradition changes as time goes by. I will continue at the next post about it. 

Thanks for reading! 

* Source of the photos without citations:


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