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.
Nochi (fermented glutinous rice pancake) is peculiar to the Pyongyang area, the rice cake made with fresh persimmon to the Kangwon provincial area, oat cake to the Hamgyong provincial area, and the glutinous rice cake with mellowed persimmon to the Jolla provincial area.
Every family prepared various soups with meat, fish, beancurd and dried edible herbs, and taro soup was much favoured in Kaesong and Jolla Province.
Glutinous rice cake
The Koreans have eaten glutinous rice cake from ancient times and regarded it as good dish for those with stomach troubles or in recuperation.
The cake made with glutinous rice was so soft that it became less stale, so when it was roasted and served with honey even a few days later it tasted delicious.
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, being different from those made in other regions which usually used adzuki bean flour as dressing material.
The glutinous rice cake is dressed with such materials as adzuki bean, sesame, jujube, chestnut, pine nut and kidney bean, cut into certain sizes and piled on a plate for serving.