November and Folk Customs

There are two of 24 seasonal divisions in November: Ripttong and Sosol.

Ripttong means the beginning of winter, which falls on November 7 or 8. This year it falls on November 7.

Sosol means the period of snowing, which falls on November 22 or 23. This year it falls on November 22.

It is a season when the Korean people make kimchi and soybean malt necessary for making soybean paste and soy sauce next spring, both of which are their important diet customs.

From olden times, the Koreans made various kinds of kimchi for their diet.

The ingredients of kimchi and its making method varied according to local regions.

When the season set in, the Koreans made various kinds of kimchi with unique tastes and fragrance, including thongkimchi (kimchi made of whole Korean cabbage), tongchimi (radish pickled in salt water), possamkimchi (wrapped-up kimchi) and katkimchi (leaf-mustard kimchi).

Several housewives gathered in a house to help with each other in preparing kimchi, and the newly-made kimchi was served first to the neighbours to taste it.

Soybean malt-making was also a folk custom being handed down through generations.

In this season, the Koreans made preparations for wintering, including pasting paper on a window frame, repairing underfloor heating system and cowshed, etc.

Adults played such indoor folk games as yut-game, janggi (Korean chess), etc. and children, kite-flying, shuttlecock game, etc.

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