Enderun Celebrates Korean Harvest Festival
Probably one of the best things about being in Enderun is the number of global food festivals students can partake of as part of the diverse college culture.
Enderun is made up of students from more than 20 nationalities. Our friends from South Korea, needless to say, make up a significant slice of that demographic pie. Every year, Enderun celebrates Chuseok, the annual Korean harvest festival.
Chuseok is one of Korea’s three major holidays, along with Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Dano (the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year) and is also referred to as Hangawi. Han means “big” and gawi means “the ides of August/Autumn” (August 15th according to the lunar calendar is when the full harvest moon appears). Hangawi/Chuseok was the day on which Koreans, an agrarian people throughout most of history, gave thanks to their ancestors for the year’s harvest, and shared their abundance with family and friends.
Although the exact origin of Chuseok is unclear, the tradition may be found at ancient religious practices that centered around the moon. The sun’s presence was considered routine, but the full moon that came once a month was considered a special and meaningful event. Therefore, harvest festivities took place on the day of the bright, full moon or August 15 on the lunar calendar system. On the morning of Chuseok Day, foods prepared with the year’s fresh harvest are set out to give thanks to ancestors through Charye (ancestor memorial service). After Charye, families visit their ancestors’ graves and engage in Beolcho, a ritual of clearing the weeds that may have grown up over the burial mound. After dusk, families and friends take walks and gaze at the beauty of the full harvest moon or play folk games such as Ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance).
Enderun’s version of Chuseok may be less traditional, but it does carry on the fine tradition of feasting and merriment. Students and staff enjoyed several performances from the Korean Cultural Office in Manila as well as delicious authentic korean cuisine sponsored by our friends from Sariwon Korean Barbecue. Enderun’s Chuseok Night is just one of the cultural activities organized by Cultura, Enderun’s student organization for world cultures.