Why Mid-September is the Best Time to Visit Korea this Season
September 12 to 14 of 2019 would be a fantastic time to visit Korea. This is because the country is celebrating its biggest holiday: Chuseok. Also called Hangawi, Chuseok is a harvest festival (or sometimes known as Korean Thanksgiving Day) where Koreans would visit their families, pay respect to their ancestors, and eat seasonal food.
A perfect time for tourists to immerse in traditional Korean culture.
Things to eat
A traditional rice cake with sweet fillings, particularly popular during Chuseok. Eating Songpyeon goes back many generations, to celebrate the year’s harvest.
Savoury pancakes made of all manner of fillings, ranging from sausages to seafood.
Not just any pear, Korean pears are especially sweet and juicy, ripe during this season.
If you appreciate alcohol, Baekseju is a must-try during this holiday. It’s a traditional liquor made of rice, flavoured with herbs such as ginseng.
Things to do
- Wear Hanbok
A traditional outfit worn when visiting family and the elderly. Non-Koreans can also wear this to be part of the celebration.
- Play Yut
A traditional game that involves throwing four wooden sticks on a mat. Think of it as a race using a different form of dice.
- Give gifts
If you’re visiting a Korean family during this time, you are welcome to join in the tradition of giving gifts. You can choose to give fruits, ginseng, meat, or even Spam (yes, a brand of luncheon meat). Don’t forget to bow!
Places to visit
During Chuseok, many locals will be back in their hometowns. Because of that, you can expect major cities like Seoul to be far less crowded, and many businesses closed for the holiday. Not to worry, many tourist attractions will be breathing life into the city for foreigners.
- Namsangol Hanok Village, Seoul
A popular attraction during Chuseok, where you can participate in activities and watch performances.
- Bongeunsa Temple, Seoul
Spend a night in a Korean temple to get a taste of life in traditional monasteries. During Chuseok, you’ll be just in time to witness Jeongdaebulsa, a Buddhist ceremony, and participate in meditation sessions and tea ceremonies.
- National Folk Museum, Seoul
Traditional games, art programs, and seasonal customs for all ages and nationalities. All part of an event hosted specially for Chuseok. For history buffs, the museum itself will prove highly educational.
- Amusement parks
If you’re looking for some fun for the whole family, you can visit amusement parks such as Lotte World and Seoul Land. They typically host cultural events during Chuseok, on top of the attractions they already have all year.
Travel tip: during this season, there will be heavy traffic leaving the cities. To avoid congestion, minimize travel from city to city within Korea.
、Book your flights to Seoul here
You don’t have to be Korean to enjoy Chuseok. It will be a culture trip worth experiencing.
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