Chusok & Songphyon
   Chusok, or harvest moon festival, is a popular folk holiday falling on the 15th of the eighth month by the lunar calendar.
   From old days the Korean people celebrated the day to commemorate the bumper harvest and to honour their ancestors.
   That day people offered to their ancestors foods prepared with early rice and other grains such as mung bean, adzuki bean and soy bean.
   And on the eve of the holiday, they prepared holiday dishes, typically rice cakes made of newly harvested crops, soups, wine and sweets.
   They made a variety of rice cakes including glutinuous rice cake, and the one most associated with the holiday is songphyon, half-moon-shaped rice cake stuffed with beans and cooked on a layer of pine needles.

Songphyon, special dish for chusok

   From olden times the Koreans regarded songphyon as a rice cake symbolic of chusok, the 15th day of the eighth month by the lunar calendar.
   Songphyon is named so because it is steamed on a bed of pine needles.
   The size of the rice cake and making methods varied a little according to regions.
   Generally, songphyon and other cereal cakes for chusok holiday were made of polished and glutinous rice, but in Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces, where rice does not grow well, oats were widely used in making cakes.
   The oat cakes rubbed with oil were so slippery that there was a saying in Samsu and Kapsan areas, “The oiled oat cakes slipped out of the chopsticks and flew over the Huchi Pass.”
   Songphyon was also prepared as a special dish on other holidays.

Foods 6