Friday, September 28, 2012

Thanksgiving from afar

This weekend in Korea is one of the biggest holidays of the year—Chuseok—the harvest moon festival that lasts for three days. Food, merriment, food, games, food, and always starting with the visit to ancestral graves to pay respects and spend time with family. I like it because it has roots in the moon cycles, the seasons, harvest cycles, and taking the time to be grateful for family in this world and beyond. Also, because there's no weird pilgrim/Native story that goes with it (the closest American parallel to Chuseok is often stated as Thanksgiving).
Here, the big Korean markets celebrate with specialty and staples that are shipped directly from Korea so we can have a taste. I was walking around today in one of the new H Marts and marveled at how big the chain has gotten. Growing up, it was not so easy to get Korean groceries, and you had to go farther afield. Now there are more non-Koreans in the store than Koreans.
This weekend will be my last to curl up with four books and stay home; starting in two days, I take an intensive solo framing class, head to the airport for international greetings and tour guide-y work for five days, and who knows what other adventures. Pyramid Atlantic has their demonstrations listed in a pretty grid, so take a look in case you are in the Silver Spring/D.C. area in mid-November. Mine will be on Sat, Nov 17. Eat well and give thanks for health and family even if you aren't Korean this weekend!

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