1) What is Chuseok?
Shortly explained, Chuseok is Korea’s Thanksgiving Day. In Korean, the word “Chuseok” literally means “autumn evening.” Based on a lunar calendar, Chuseok will have the fullest, brightest moon. As the climate around this time of the year is the best, Koreans have traditionally held harvest festivals on Chuseok. Today, Korean families and relatives gather at their ancestral hometowns and share Korean traditional food.
2) How long is the Chuseok Holiday this year (2017)?
This year’s Chuseok Holiday season is from September 30 to October 9, summing up to a total of 10 days. This is especially longer than usual, and here’s why:
Originally, Chuseok itself comprises of 3 days: day before Chuseok, Chuseok, and day after Chuseok. In 2017, this is October 3-5.
However, October 3 is also National Foundation Day (Gaecheonjeol), another public holiday. Since the first day of Chuseok coincides with Foundation Day on the calendar, October 6 became a “Substitute Holiday” so that citizens can get all the rest they deserve. 🙂
Also, October 9 is Hangul Proclamation Day, yet another public holiday. In addition, the government designated October 2 as a “Temporary Holiday,” making this year’s holiday season even better.
Including all the weekends before, during, and after all the public holidays clustered around the first week of October, we now end up with a total 10 days of holiday! 🙂
3) Which attraction venues and/or shops will be OPEN?
This will vary depending on attraction, shop, or restaurant. Some stores will be closed during the main Chuseok holiday (October 3-5), or just on October 4.
Here is a list of some of the major tourist attractions around Seoul that will be certainly OPEN:
- Independence Hall of Korea / War Memorial of Korea
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA Seoul) / Seoul Arts Center / Sejong Center
- Korean Folk Village
- Royal Palaces: Gyeongbokgung / Changdeokgung / Changgyeonggung / Deoksugung / Jongmyo Shrine
- N Seoul Tower & Namsan Cable Car
- Seoul 63 Square (63 Art and Aqua Planet 63)
- COEX Aquarium
- Hangang River Ferry Cruise
- Lotte World / Everland / Seoul Grand Park / Seoul Land
- Myeongdong Nanta Theater / Jeongdong Theater
- Times Square (Yeongdeungpo)
*Information is subject to change without notice
4) Which attraction venues and/or shops will be (partially) CLOSED?
- Korea House => closed Oct 4
- National Museum of Korea / National Folk Museum of Korea / Seodaemun Prison History Museum => closed Oct 4
- Lotte Department Store (Euljiro 1-ga main branch) / Shinsegye Department Store (Myeongdong main branch) => closed Oct 3-4
- Hyundai Department Store (Apgujeong main branch) => closed Oct 4-5
- Dongdaemun Shopping Complex & Shopping Town => closed Oct 3-7
- Namdaemun Market => most stores closed Oct 3-9
- Myeongdong shopping area / Itaewon Special Tourist Zone / Starfield COEX Mall => closed days vary by shop
5) Will there be heavy traffic during the holiday period?
Many Koreans visit their family and relatives, so many people move all over the country. However, since this year’s holiday is longer than usual, no one knows when everyone else will decide to move around. Thus, the traffic situation is generally hard to predict.
Our prediction is that the “Seoul >> southern regions (e.g. Busan)” will have heavy traffic around Sep 30 – Oct 2, while the “southern region -> Seoul” will likely have more traffic around Oct 3-5.
6) What FunKo suggest our visitors to do during Chuseok (1-9 Oct)!
Rather then traveling out of Seoul, why not enjoy a less-crowded Seoul?
Enjoy a Quiet time with your family and loved ones on the Hangang River Cruise:
Do a Tour within Seoul
[Guided Tour] Seoul Palace & Antique Market Half Day Tour from KRW38,000
[Guided Tour] Seoul Palace & Antique Street One Day Walking Tour from KRW20,000
[Guided Tour] Seoul Palace & Temple Half Day Tour from KRW36,000
One Day Old and New Seoul City Private Tour from KRW345,000
(not opened during 3-5 Oct)
[Guided Tour] Seoul Namdaemun Flea Market One Day Walking Tour from KRW20,000
Enjoy the Pollution Free Seoul with some Nature
N Seoul Tower Combos Reservation (Combo Options with Hello Kitty, Ssentoy, N Burger, Hello Kitty + Ssentoy) from KRW11,250
One Mount Snow Park and Paju Outlet One Day Tour from KRW60,000
Everland Discount Tickets from KRW35,000
Lotte World and Lotte World Aquarium Ticket from KRW40,000
Nami Island Shuttle Bus and Admission Package from KRW20,000
Nanta Tickets (Myeongdong or Hongdae) from KRW32,000
7) Food to Try for Chuseok?
Hangwa is a popular Korean traditional confection that people eat not only during Chuseok, but also for special events such as weddings, birthday parties, and marriages. Hangwa is made by mixing ground grains with honey, and natural ingredients to give the bright and beautiful sweets color!
Yakgwa (deep-fried honey cookies), Dasik (tea confectionery), Gangjeong (deep-fried sweet rice puffs)
Songpyeon is a half-moon shaped rice cakes made of glutinous rice. It is a type of tteok, small rice cakes, traditionally eaten during the Korean autumn harvest festival, Chuseok. It is made by kneading rice flour using hot water and mung beans. Green soybeans and sesame are used as the fillings for the rice cakes. The snack is then steamed in a layer of pine needles, leaving the cooked Songpyeon with an mouthwatering scent and a chewy texture~
What else do you know about Chuseok? Share with us~