The Textures of 추석 Chuseok

Every Autumn Equinox, my Korean family gathers – like most all other families – to give thanks to our ancestors for the harvest, and for the life we are able to lead today. For Koreans, this day is called, Chuseok 추석. I have been taking part in this tradition for 4 years now, and each year I am still impressed by the table of offerings my mother-in-law prepares. Although she does most of the cooking — I play a minor role in this job — my husband, being the oldest son, is in charge of setting the altar. This year, thanks to inspiration from the weekly photo challenge, I took the chance to record this display as a way of sharing with you the many glorious textures this thanksgiving holiday has to offer.

    문어 octopus

밀감 mandarin or tangerine

sea bream

Songpyeon 송편 filled with 깨 sesame seed paste

거봉포도 large dark purple grapes

수박 watermelon

This bordered straw mat 돗자리 is placed under the offering tables. We also use these mats to bow on to give thanks to the ancestor spirits while they eat their special meal.

The octopus was far too much fun to photograph to share only one shot of it.

imitation crab, ham, and green onions

The end result…many thanks!

21 thoughts on “The Textures of 추석 Chuseok

  1. Very interesting. I like how you also include the korean characters – that’s very cool. I especially like the octopus photos. We have done a traditional japanese new year meal ever since I can remember, and octopus has always been part of the dishes.

    1. How interesting! I’m curious, in your culture (sorry if my assumption that you are Japanese is wrong) do you also have an offering table like the picture in this post?

  2. I admire your daring in moving so close in — it was worth it for the extraordinary effect. Like the suckers of the octopus, the rind of the lemon —-
    And it’s all very interesting too. I know a fair amount about Japan and its culture, but much less about Korea, and look forward to your blog.

    1. Hahaha…I didn’t need to be too brave. The octopus was not alive.

      Thank you for the specific feedback and for sharing your cultural perspective. It helps me understand your viewpoint much better. All the best!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I’m actually Canadian and it still takes a lot to get used to the food textures I discover in Korea. In my opinion octopus is best left for photography.

  3. That’s an interesting mix Josette – apart from the octopus, sea bream and ham I could all of that (including the mat if I’m very hungry!). Nice photographs.

  4. Amazing textures, jos! I can almost see fingerprints on the hand-made songpyeon!! Tell me what kind of camera you have again?? Mine sucks and I’ve stopped taking pics because of it.

    1. I just bought this camera this summer: Panasonic Lumix LX5. Love it! Completely in love. It has an amazing lens, and from what I researched it’s the highest quality point and shoot camera out there. Great for someone who wants DSLR quality, but not the bulk. I recommended it so highly that my friend bought hers a week after she saw what mine could do! Let me know if you get one too :P

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