October and Folk Customs

October is a season of good harvest in Korea.

Mountains are aflame with autumnal tints, fruits get ripened and crops are gathered in paddy fields and dry fields.

In October, there are two seasonal divisions: Hanno (the 17th of 24 seasonal divisions according to the lunar calendar that falls on October 8 or 9, in which falls cold dew) and Sanggang (the 18th of 24 seasonal divisions according to the lunar calendar that falls on October 23 or 24, in which falls frost).

It is a season in which people are busy with harvesting, threshing and wild-fruit gathering.

So, there is a saying that one is as busy as a bee and short-handed in autumn.

The Koreans prepared a variety of foods as suited to the seasonal features of October.

Typical of them are soybean dishes and loach soup.

The locals in Phyongan Province preferred hardboiled ground bean and bean soup, those in Hamgyong Province, bean flour pancake and bean-sprouts kimchi, and those in Hwanghae Province, uncurdled bean curd soup and bean curd soup.

Peasants filled themselves with loach soup to invigorate their strength before harvesting. The loach soup in Kaesong was the most famous.

Costumes also varied in keeping with the season.

The Koreans used to wear vari-coloured clothes with long-sleeves and overclothes as suited to the autumn season.

Children played various folk games, including hide-and-seek, hopscotch, tail-catching, etc.

As seen above, the Koreans created various customs of working life, foods and dressing culture and folk games suitable for the seasonal features, and have handed them down through generations.

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