In China, Mid-autumn Day is considered to be a symbol of family reunion. On this day, all the family members gather together at home to celebrate this special occasion. Last year, I could not celebrate the festival with my family because I was in university. However, this special day left a deep impression on me.
I still remember the atmosphere of that evening. All the students who could not go back home assembled in our classroom, having a party to celebrate this traditional festival. We tried our best to show our own enthusiasm. As an ethnic minority, I performed a peacock dance, which received warm applause. After the two-hour party, we went out to the playground and sat together to appreciate the moon because it is a tradition on Mid-autumn Day. We ate moon cakes, played cards, and listened to romantic poems recited by one of our classmates. In that harmonious atmosphere, nobody felt lonely or homesick even though we were far away from our homes
Thanks to our classmates, I experienced such a colorful and interesting Mid-autumn Day at my university. Thus, I learned to value all the festivals I spent during my university life.
Chusok ("fall evening") is a Korean "Harvest Moon" (Han-gawi) festival set on the 15th day of the eighth lunar moon. Chusok (韩国中秋节), also known as the Korean Thanksgiving or Mid-Autumn Festival, is one of the most celebrated Korean holidays. It occurs during the harvest season. Thus, Korean families take this time to thank their ancestors for providing them with rice and fruits.
The celebration starts on the night before Chusok and ends on the day after the holiday. Thus, many Korean families take three days off from work to get together with family and friends.
The celebration starts with a family get-together at which rice cakes called "Songphyun" (蒸糕) are served. These special rice cakes are made of rice, beans, sesame seeds, and chestnuts. Then the family pays respect to ancestors by visiting their tombs and offering them rice and fruits. The Koreans visit the graves of their ancestors to bow and clean the area for the coming winter. In the evening, children wear their favorite hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and dance under the bright moon in a large circle. They play games and sing songs. Like the American Thanksgiving, Chusok is the time to celebrate the family and give thanks for their blessings.
Community activities include masked dance, Kanggangsuwollae, an ancient circle dance, tug-of-wars and the tortoise game, kobuk-nori (乌龟游戏), in which two men dress as a tortoise and tour the villagedancing and performing for food and drink. Most of all, Ch'usok is a time to give thanks for the autumn harvest and reaffirm familial and community ties.