Chuseok delicacies in Korea
Koreans in both South and North make some delicious food for the harvest festival Chuseok,... but there are some differences between the dishes they make.
Kim Da-mi introduces some of the traditional foods and the variations on them. Colorful fruits and fresh seafood... fill Korean family tables during Chuseok,... as a part of Charye , a ritual when food is offered to ancestors.
Both South and North celebrate Chuseok, but there are some differences in Charye traditions between the two Koreas.
Songpyeon, a Korean traditional small rice cake, is a staple dish on both Koreas’ Charye tables... except the North’s Songpyeon is much larger, about the size of a palm.
Because its main ingredient rice is hard to get hold of, people take advantage of the national holiday by making large Songpyeon to munch on.
Preparing Korean pancakes called Jeon requires hard work for families in both Koreas but it takes extra effort to make in the North.
First, grains have to be ground to prepare the base flour, North Koreans also use onions instead of expensive cooking oil to fry the pancake.
The types of dishes on the table used for the ancestral rites ceremony also vary between the two Koreas.
While the South’s table can contain up to 30 dishes, ranging from fresh vegetables to meat, the North’s dishes are limited to fish and fruits. Instead, handmade candy and rare biscuits, which are considered luxury foods in the North, are served.
Unlike the South, people in the North don't peel the fruits on the table since they believe ancestors may be confused that the peeled fruits are not fresh.
Also, people in the South thank their ancestors for another successful harvest by bowing while kneeling on the floor, but in the North, people make simple prayers, and the holiday has a slightly different focus.
"It's not easy to get together with families so on Chuseok, people eat and play together and share good old stories."