Ogokbap

The Korean ancestors had a custom of having ogokbap (boiled rice mixed with four other staple cereals) as a must special dish for Jongwoldaeborum (the fifteenth day of the first month by the lunar calendar) every year.

Ogokbap was also called ogokjapbap.

There were regional variations of five grains, but they mainly included rice, foxtail millet, sorghum, soya beans and adzuki beans.

An old book Rimwonsipryukji included rice, foxtail millet, sorghum, millet and adzuki beans in five grains; Kyuhapchongso, glutinous rice, foxtail millet, sorghum, soya beans and adzuki beans; and Sejong Sillok (Chronicles of King Sejong), rice, soya beans, millet, barley and barnyard grass.

Ogokbap has a very long history. Such five grains as rice, foxtail millet, sorghum, millet and soya beans were discovered among ancient relics. Records in the period of the Three Kingdoms (Koguryo, Paekje and Silla) deal with many stories about reaping a bumper harvest of five grains. An old book Tongguksesigi read that it was a traditional custom of having ogokbap on Jongwoldaeborum.

The Koreans, who have engaged in farming from thousands of years ago, lived on boiled rice and cooked rice mixed with various grains.

The custom of having ogokbap on Jongwoldaeborum originated from the fact that the Korean ancestors wanted to have a good taste of various cereals which they had cultivated with painstaking efforts and that ogokbap was good for promoting their health. It is also associated with their simple desire to reap a rich harvest in the new year and enjoy five blessings (longevity, wealth, health, blessing of children and peaceful death).

Today, the Korean people enjoy having ogokbap not only on holidays but in ordinary times.

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