Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)
Chuseok(추석) is one of Korea’s biggest festivals and holidays. It’s referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving”. It is also known as the Mid-autumn Festival or the Harvest Moon Festival. During Chuseok, people celebrate their ancestors, show their gratitude to them, and spend time with their families. Chuseok is a 3-day long celebration that people enjoy with traditional Korean games, vibrant traditions, customs, and a delicious array of dishes.
While Koreans have been celebrating Chuseok for more than 2,000 years, the modern practice of the holiday was developed some time during the Joseon Dynasty (1362-1897). It is always observed on Aug. 15 on the lunar calendar.
On this day people wake up early and perform rituals and follow chuseok traditions to worship their immediate ancestors. As the chuseok traditions follow, they visit the tombs of their ancestors to clear out the area and offer food, drinks, and crops in hope that they are looking over them at all times. South Koreans believe that the harvested crops are credited by their ancestors, hence, becoming the reason they consider autumn as the best season. It is a time when various traditional Korean dishes are made and shared among families.
Autumn Moon Festival (Chinese Thanksgiving)
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival. Mid-Autumn Festival, Zhongqiu Jie (中秋节) in Chinese, is also called the Mooncake Festival or the Moon Festival. And it’s been celebrated in Asia for thousands of years, usually on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is brightest. It’s similar to Thanksgiving, a day for families to gather.
As the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn is an official public holiday.
In China, Mid-Autumn Festival is a reunion time for families, a little like Thanksgiving. Chinese people celebrate it by gathering for dinners, worshiping the moon, lighting paper lanterns, eating moon cakes, etc.