Early in the morning of the New Year’s Day, all the families would hold memorial services for their ancestors, make New Year greetings and enjoy holiday dishes.
It was a custom in Korea to put ttokguk (rice cake soup) on the table set for memorial services on New Year’s Day with several other dishes.
Dishes for this day include chalttok (glutinous rice cake), solgittok (steamed rice cake), jolphyon (fancy rice cake), pancakes, desserts, sujonggwa (fruit punch), sikhye (sweet rice drink), roast meats, fruits and others.
And ttokguk is a must dish for the day. So, Koreans called it chomsebyong, age-adding rice cake.
The soup was originally prepared with pheasant broth, and when the pheasant was not available, chicken broth was used instead. Hence the Korean proverb, Chicken in place of pheasant.
On New Year’s Day people drank cold liquor. Traditional liquor for New Year’s Day was Tosoju distilled from traditional Korean medicinal stuffs, including fruits of Zanthoxylum piperitum, white rhizome atractylodis, platycodon, and Siler divaricate.
When serving the liquor, young people were the first to drink to congratulate them for their becoming mature, and the elder ones drank in the end for they repented of their becoming old.
On New Year’s Day, all the family members got together at the house of the parents to enjoy holiday feast and welcomed the neighbours and other villagers with dishes.
Glutinous rice cake
On the morning of the lunar New Year’s Day all the households prepared delicious foods, served them first to the senior people and enjoyed together with whole family members, and served to those who paid New Year’s calls.
Glutinous rice cake, fancy rice cake and other cereal cakes were counted first in special dishes for the lunar New Year’s Day, like all other holidays.
Glutinous rice cake cut in a certain size were dressed with adzuki bean, sesame, jujube, chestnut, pine nut, kidney bean and others and put in a pile on a plate for serving.
From olden times, glutinous rice cakes prepared in the Yonbaek (Yonan and Paechon) area were numbered as the best in the country. They were dressed with soybean flour, so different from those made in other regions which usually used adzuki bean flour as dressing material.