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Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 1 – Seoul

Growing up, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. There is no pressure about gifts, the family is way less stressed, and it is all about gratitude, family, and good food. My kind of holiday. The day really embodies Fall, with it’s smells and sweaters, colors, and football (or nap time for me).

In Korea, Chuseok is compared to Thanksgiving because it is also a harvest festival (minus the genocide and kum ba yah stories of sharing some turkey), but it is as big as Christmas is in the States. Being that it’s one of the two biggest holidays in Korea, we usually get 4 or 5 days off! Hooray!

We also got some pretty great Chuseok gifts this year, and if you’re interested in seeing what kind of quirky things we got check out the video!


Getting Drunk in Korea: Your Guide to Korean Alcohols

You might not think of Korea as a nation of drinkers, but they sure do love their alcohol. Not only does the nation have a lot of different alcohols, but when they’re out on the town, they revel in mixing them together. Honestly, you’ve no idea how far down the warren the rabbit can stumble.

Somaek (소맥)

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Eating 해장국, ‘Hangover Soup,’ While Sober

Tom Gates of The Red Dragon Diaries and I are joined in our second food video collaboration (check out the first one, LIVE OCTOPUS, here) by our good friend, the lovely and talented Jookyeong, for a lovely meal of Haejang Guk, also known as “Hangover Soup.” It’s definitely not just for eating after a night of hard drinking!


Busan to Seoul, a journey on Korea’s Cross-Country Cycling Road

22. Courtesy of a nice Korean chap

It’s 07:30 and my alarm is chirping away at me. Time to drag myself out of bed, eat breakfast in a hurry, shower and go to school. Just another work-day. But, wait! It’s Saturday, why am I up at this unwelcoming hour? That’s right, you’ve decided to spend the Chuseok public holiday cycling across a whole country…

1. Eulsukdo the journey begins...


Sleeper Bust: Crisis on a Chinese Highway

by Fred Colton

“The bus isn’t going to stop,” my friend whispered.

“I know,” I said, grinding my teeth into powder.

The setting: A rainy Chinese highway outside the city of Kunming, on a midnight in autumn. Our transport: A sleeper bus bombing down said rainy highway, a sleeper bus that I’d have bet my teacher’s salary had been both constructed and last inspected during the Nixon Administration. The driver, a ruby-red little smokestack of a man with a witch cackle for a voice, drove like an F-16 was chasing us, treating the speed limit as a sarcastic suggestion. “Forward” is the really the only direction you want to be going while on a highway, but we were doing a distressing amount of left/right skidding as the bus’s bald tires hit puddles.


I’m Back and I’m Giving away a K-Pop Book! ^^

Jeong Dojeon – Mid Autumn Festival Song


Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival: Pixelated

From October 1st ~ 12th hundreds of spirits, soldiers, and denizens from Korea’s past emblazon the night in the small fortified city of Jinju.

The Namgang Lantern Festival (진주 남강 유등 축제) is held every autumn in the small (for Korea) city of Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province. The festival not only commemorates the city’s great victory in the Imjin war, but also depicts traditional life in Korea at the time. Centred around the fortress and the Nam River (Namgang) outside, the lanterns bask the city in a beautiful glow. Accompanying the artistic luminosity are traditional foods, drinks, games, and fantastic performances of Joseon music, dance, and song.

General

City after city fell to samurai swords, yet Jinju refused to be capitulated. Utterly outnumbered and outgunned the ragtag army under the leadership of general Simin pushed the Japanese invaders back.

Bow

The city’s great triumph was short lived however as the samurai returned in greater numbers, and this time levelled everything. The conflict raged for a further six years and ended in stalemate.


Ceremony in Honor of Confucius and the Great Sages – Seokjeondaeje (釋奠大祭, 석전대제)

Seokjeondaeje 0

2565th Year of Confucius.


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