July and Folk Customs

In Korea, July is the period when the sweltering mid-summer heat begins along with the long spell of rainy weather.

In July there are two of 24 seasonal divisions of the year: Soso and Taeso.

Soso, which means the beginning of summer heat, falls on July 7 this year.

Taeso, which means the beginning of intense heat, falls on July 22 this year.

From olden times, the Koreans directed efforts to weeding paddy and non-paddy fields several times as crops flourished well during Soso.

Before and after Taeso, they mainly began to make green manure. They used to cut grasses and pile them up, which would turn into a good organic fertilizer for the next year’s farming.

The Koreans called the hottest period of the summer as sambok, which was divided into three periods: chobok (the first 10-day period of the dog days), jungbok (the second 10-day period of the dog days) and malbok (the last 10-day period of the dog days).

There are chobok and jungbok in July.

The Korean ancestors prepared various foods as suited to the seasonal features when the sultry weather begins.

Typical foods in this period include tangogi soup, chogyethang (sliced and vinegared mung-bean jelly garnished with fried chicken, beef, cucumber, mushroom, shredded egg, etc.), rice and red-bean porridge, rice hash and others.

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