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The Mid-Autumn Festival in South Korea

Ancestor Worship CeremoniesAncestor Worship Ceremonies

The Mid-Autumn Day is also named "qiu xi". It is also a tradition of Korean to present gifts to relatives and friends on this festival. Therefore, it is named "Thanksgiving Day" as well. On their holiday table, the festival is marked as "Thanksgiving Day" in English. The Mid-Autumn is a general festival in Korea, and there would be a three days' holiday. During these days, they would come back to their hometown to visit their relatives. Thus, it is the season for sale one month before the festival. The major companies would give big discounts to attract people to give gifts to each other. On this day, Korean would have a kind of traditional snack, which resembles the Chinese dumpling.

An important festival for harvest thanksgiving in South Korea, the Mid-Autumn Festival is even more ceremonious than their Spring Festival. South Koreans have a three-day holiday from the 14th to the 16th of the eighth lunar month.

Get-Togethers for the Family

It is a festival for family members to get together. The eldest son worships their deceased ancestors first, and then all the family dance together and appreciate the moon. Young girls wear colorful traditional clothes and play springboard games.

Ancestor Worship Ceremonies

As the ancestor worship ceremony starts, all men stand reverently before the altar. The eldest son opens the front door first, symbolizing “inviting” his ancestors to come in. Then he offers flowers, wine, and snacks, and burns incense while bowing together with other family members.
While his ancestors “enjoy” the offerings, the eldest son relates the glorious deeds of his ancestors. When the ceremony is over, he and other family members start to eat together.

Food Prepared for Mid-Autumn Festival

Each household prepares newly-harvested grains and fruits, taro soup, and muffins in the morning of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The muffins are the highlight and have a similar significance to mooncakes for the Chinese. The semi-moon-shaped muffins are made from rice flour, with pork and dates as fillings, and are usually sent as gifts among friends and relatives.


In addition to getting together and worshiping ancestors, it's also a custom for the South Koreans to sweep the tombs of their ancestors one or two days before the Mid-Autumn Festival. Some even climb to the tops of mountains to show their adoration of their ancestors.

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