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Hiking Under a Chu-sok Moon


Happy Chu-sok! What is Chu-sok you ask? Basically, it’s a festival celebrating the harvest and a time for families to get together. Think of it like the Korean version of American Thanksgiving.

If you’re a Korean woman, you will be cooking for days to prepare for the feast. Foods include: grilled meat, fruit and nuts, kimchee, and of course songpyun! Songpyun is a special rice cake (dukk) that’s molded into the shape of a half moon. I actually attempted this using rice flour and stuffing it with brown sugar and honey. But the key ingredient is pine needles. You lay these across the steamer and then place the cakes on them. It gives off a unique scent and adds to the rice cake’s flavor.

But since I’m not Korean, I didn’t spend my whole weekend cooking. The boys and I decided to hike Ansan Mountain (we actually live on the side of it and just hiked to the top). It was an incredibly clear day and the view was spectacular of Namsam Tower.









The Han River and the 63 Building:









We ate a little snack:









And that’s when the moon rose over Seoul, plump like songpyun:









It was starting to get dark by the time we left, so we were very happy we had our flashlights and the full Chu-sok Moon to guide the way.

How about you? What did you do this harvest moon?

10 Responses to Hiking Under a Chu-sok Moon

  1. MG Higgins says:

    Nothing even remotely as intriguing as your hike! Those photos are beautiful and your description of the Songpyun had me drooling. (By the way, I got a “does not exist” message when I clicked on the link for this post. I accessed it through your home page.)

  2. Rena says:

    Great pictures! I especially love the one of you and your husband. Thanks for explaining what Chu-sok is. I learn something each time I read your blog!

  3. Ello says:

    We had the perfect Chusok moon over here also! And our songpyun was good but I bet not as good as the ones in Korea. Love your pics!

  4. Kelly says:

    Great pictures! It’s been so rainy, I haven’t seen the moon in a few days!

  5. Thank you for the beautiful pictures of your city! How nice that you have a mountain in the middle of it to enjoy the view from. Oh, and those dumplings looked excellent.

  6. Anna says:

    I’ve seen you mention chu-sok a couple of times on Twitter and just had to come to check out what it is. 🙂 Sounds great, and those songpyun look delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Bish Denham says:

    Wow! Great pictures, sounds like a wonderful time. And I’d like to try me some of those songpyun.

  8. Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the heads up MG Higgins. Glad you stopped by Anna!

  9. Shelli says:

    do you speak korean?

  10. Shelli- Not much I’m afraid! My boys speak better Korean than I do. I actually spoke pretty good Indoneisan when we lived there. It’s an easy language to learn.

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