Dishes for Lunar New Year’s Day
   From ancient times the Korean people celebrated the New Year’s Day by the lunar calendar in a grand style.
   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.

Steamed Rice Cake

   Steamed rice cake was another festive dish for the lunar New Year’s Day.
   Somorittok of Kaesong was the most famous among the steamed rice cakes for the day. It was called so, because the rice cake, when it was cooled and cut, looked like slices of boiled beef.
   Somorittok, when cut, looked peculiar and unusual in appearance, and it also tasted so delicious.
   There was a custom in the Kaesong area of steaming rice cake in a small earthenware steamer and sending it as a whole to the in-laws as a festive dish.

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