추석 also known as 한가위, is Koreas autumn harvest festival, similar to thanksgiving or other such celebrations. It’s celebrated in both North and South Korea and lands on the 15/8 on the lunar calendar so it changes each year, but for this year it starts on September 28 and goes on until the 30th. Uniquely 추석 guarantees 3 days off; the day before, 추석 day, and day after.
Where Does Chuseok Come From?
Chuseok is an age old celebration so when it originated is a bit debated. Some think it comes from around 57 BC – 935 AD as a part of another celebration called gabae. Gabae was a month-long weaving contest between two teams and when the competition was over the winner would be treated to a feast from the losing team.
Other think that it is tied to celebrations for the harvest moon where people would offer deities and ancestors new harvests. Which means chuseok could have started off as a worship ritual.
Whichever the origins or history, chuseok has developed to be a big family event in Korea, with a lot of specific foods and events going on. The event celebrates family, food, and the large harvest before winter starts to come in.