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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.

Including the mountain peaks:

And 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?

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