Under the Chuseok Moon

Chuseok is the Korean holiday of thanksgiving. The festival takes place around the 15th day of the 8th month of the Korean lunar calendar, which is some time around the start of autumn. While modern Koreans first and foremost view Chuseok as a moment to focus on their families, traditionally Koreans have also played folk games throughout Chuseok, like tug-of-war or ssireum wrestling. Korean women along the southwest coast also perform the ancient Ganggangsullae dance forming a circle under a full moon and dancing for hours, long into the night, replying a liberating “Ganggangsullae!” as the song leader sings about both the struggles and joys of life. In class we enjoy this Korean womens’ dance by pretending to be turtles and mice.