April 22, 2024
KCNA Naenara (En)

Customs of Jongwoldaeborum

Date: 23/02/2024 | Source: Naenara (En) | Read original version at source

Among the Korean folk holidays is Jongwoldaeborum , the fifteenth day of the first month by the lunar calendar. In general, the celebration of the holiday began on the 14th which was called “small full-moon day”, and the 15th, “big full-moon day.”

On the big full-moon day they held various events reflecting their simple desires for good fortune and rich harvest in the year.

Custom of viewing the first full moon

On the evening of the big full-moon day, all people, young and old, would watch the rising full moon.

From olden times, the Koreans enjoyed themselves on the day. All villagers used to go up nearby hills or mountains to enjoy the rising full moon and played various folk games throughout the night.

The custom produced the following sayings.

If a young man was the first to see the moon, he would marry a fine-looking girl in the year, and if a man with no son was the first to see it, he would have a son. So, people conceded the best place to such men so that the latter were the first to see the moon. And when a young man married a beautiful girl or when a man had a son in the year, people said it was because they had seen the moon before anybody else on the day. Meanwhile, they prayed to the moon for their wishes, or predicted the year’s farming, observing the shape, colour and position of the moon.

On the day they played such folk games as torchlight battle, tug of war, kite-flying and turning toy windmills.

Dietary custom

On the day the Koreans had a pleasant time, preparing delicious foods and sharing them with each other. The special dishes for the day included ogokbap (boiled rice mixed with four other staple cereals), yakbap (sweet rice dish), pokssam (rice wrapped in laver or aster), dishes made of edible greens, etc. On the 14th day, they took noodles for lunch in the hope of longevity and, on the morning of the 15th, they drank a cup of cold “ear-quickening wine.”

The celebration of the holiday left fond memories that became topics throughout the year.

Son Chol Un, researcher at the Folklore Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences

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