Custom of Taking Red-Bean Porridge on Winter Solstice

Red-bean porridge is one of traditional dishes the Korean nation has handed down from olden times. Its name derived from the fact that the Koreans took red-bean porridge on the day of Tongji (winter solstice).

As the day of the year with the fewest hours of daylight, it marks the onset of winter. This year, it falls on December 21.

Samguksagi (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms—Koguryo, Paekje and Silla) and several other historical books recorded notes on taking red-bean porridge on the winter solstice.

The porridge was prepared as follows: After boiling red bean hard, add it with rice and much water to boil it again. Then, put small dumplings made of glutinous rice or powdered sorghum with the size of a bird’s eggs into it.

The Koreans looked back on the year and promoted harmony between neighbours, tasting the porridge together with them.

The porridge with a good taste helps people warm their bodies frozen in cold winter days.

The custom of taking red-bean porridge was inscribed on the list of national intangible cultural heritage.

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