The Seoul of the South

How to Spend Chuseok in Gwinnett

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Chuseok is Korea’s most celebrated national holiday after lunar new years. It’s the Korean autumn harvest festival and is celebrated much the way that Thanksgiving and Christmas are in the U.S. Families and loved ones gather from all over the country to celebrate with an abundance of special home cooked dishes, wearing new outfits as well as special hanboks (traditional Korean garments), and give each other gifts to show gratitude to one and another. Koreans celebrate chuseok, which is also known as “Hangawi,” on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar Calendar.

With such a large Korean community of Gwinnett, there is no shortage of ways to experience this traditional holidays with your own loved ones. Here are some ways to celebrate Chuseok in Gwinnett.

If you want to try some home cooked meals and dishes very common for chuseok try contacting some local Korean catering businesses. Two very popular spots are Cham Sa Rang House and Chef Jang Catering. Both places specialize in authentic Korean cuisine and you may want to start by ordering Korean-style pancakes, marinated kalbijjim, (beef short rib), japchae (potato starch noodles), and kimchi by the pound.

After stuffing yourself, a must have chuseok delicacy for dessert is songpyeon. Songpyeon are half moon-shaped rice cakes (tteok) that are stuffed with sweet fillings and steamed on a bed of pine needles to add a delicate fragrance. Many families make their own songpyeon on the eve of chuseok. Just as in making kimchi at home, you strive to make them as delicious and beautiful as possible while sharing the experience and catching up with one another.

Sweet Rice Cafe in Duluth is a great place to sample a variety of traditional rice cakes, particularly songpyeon.

As we Americans tend to do over holidays, chuseok is very popular time while the family is together to go shopping and to watch movies. This tradition has traveled all the way to Gwinnett with ongoing sales at local groceries such as Assi and H-Mart.

AMC Sugarloaf Mills 18 currently has a number of current Korean box office hits including the following:

  • Train to Busan, a Korean Zombie apocalypse thriller film. While a zombie-virus breaks out in South Korea, a couple of passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
  • The Tunnel, a Korean survival drama film featuring a man struggling to survive under the debris of a collapsed tunnel.
  • Operation Chromite, based on true events on the Incheon landing during the Korean War and starring Liam Neeson.With so much to eat and explore be sure to contact your Korean friends and enjoy chuseok this year in style!

On a side note, chuseok is the best time of the year to contact or catch up family, friends, and business associates that you may not have seen regularly in the thanksgiving sprit.

Be sure to come out and enjoy the Korean Festival this weekend at the Korean Community Center in Norcross as well!