Monday, October 1, 2007


추석 (aka Chuseok) is the Korean Harvest Moon Festival and is a three day national holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Gregorianly this sometimes works out into a five day weekend, an annoying mid-week interruption, or even valuable time off wasted by overlapping a weekend.

Traditionally Chuseok is all about paying respect to the elders with a food offering and/or a visit to their graves. Most will try to compare the subsequent themes of family, gift giving, and feasting to U.S. Thanksgiving. Unfortunately other nationalities are left to come up with their own comparisons.

Of course it's also a holiday where, thanks to the massive migration that occurs throughout the country, entire cities can become ghost towns leaving the foreigners and Korean tumbleweeds free to explore otherwise crowded places. Some may opt to join the masses but they'll be competing for their train, bus, airplane, or boat ticket against the rest of the country. Any travel plans should be made well in advance.

Some foreigners who are looking to escape Mokpo can chose to explore Seoul. Knowing that the international city will half its population makes it a comfortable destination (provided you are sure what's open).

And if Seoul isn't your thing there are plenty of other destinations.

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