A time to gather

JeongHea Young, Ingeong Park and MinJin Kim dancing to “Arirang.”

Chuseok is one of the biggest Korean holidays celebrated every fall. It is a time where families gather together to give thanks to their ancestors for an abundant autumn harvest. The holiday is typically celebrated with wine, food and family gatherings. It generally takes place in September or early October, based on the lunar calendar. This year, Chuseok was celebrated on Sept. 10-12.

Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City held a festival for the holiday on Sept. 10. Chuseok is celebrated for three days, but this festival only lasted three hours. Those three hours were far from uneventful, as this festival was full of song and dance and was vibrant to the eyes and ears.

Every minute was filled with some sort of entertainment, including games, karaoke, competitions, lottery tickets, dancing, performances and food! Lots and lots of Korean food! All the food was handmade and planned to fill every belly at the festival. Just to put that into perspective, 150+ people and four dogs attended that day.

It was an eclectic group of people that came to the festival. Many were Koreans who missed celebrating the holiday together. For them, it was a time to gather with friends and family and enjoy each other’s embrace and dine together.

Some participants came to learn more about Korea and its culture. Whether that curiosity stemmed from interest in family history, Korean media, a friend, or even from the flier, these participants came to enjoy themselves and immerse themselves in a different culture.

This Chuseok festival was so much fun! The people were amazing to talk to, each one with their own story on how they stumbled upon this celebration. Some came for togetherness, others came to experience something new, but all came to enjoy excellent Korean cooking and, most importantly, have fun.

Even if it was only three hours, I would absolutely recommend going to a Chuseok festival! I would recommend taking new opportunities to experience different cultures.

Immerse yourself into a celebration. Happy Chuseok!