In Korea, the 15th January of the lunar calendar (Jongwoldaeborum), falling on February 24th this year, marks a folk holiday celebrated by the people. This day holds significance as it is dedicated to enjoying the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, and it has been a part of Korean customs for generations.

The primary tradition on this day involves families coming together to revel in the joy of the first full moon. Housewives play a central role, preparing an array of traditional dishes that embody the spirit of the occasion. These dishes, shared with family members, relatives, and neighbors, are not only a symbol of culinary skill but also a gesture aimed at promoting peace within the community.

Among the popular dishes prepared for the occasion are those made with five grains, a sweet rice dish incorporating glutinous rice, honey, sesame oil, chestnuts, dates, pine nuts, and more. Additionally, dishes cooked with nine dried herbs are also part of the culinary tradition on this special day.

The celebration extends beyond feasting, with various folk games and sports activities contributing to the festive atmosphere. Kite-flying, tug of war, Yut, and other traditional games add an element of fun and camaraderie to the holiday, making it a time for joyous gatherings. This unique celebration reaches its peak with the custom of greeting the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. As the moon graces the night sky, it becomes a symbol through which people express their hopes and desires for the coming year. It is a moment of collective wishing, where individuals share their aspirations for the future, fostering a sense of unity and optimism.

In recognition of the cultural and historical significance of the January 15th lunar calendar celebration and the custom of greeting the first full moon, these traditions have been officially designated as national intangible heritages. This acknowledgment underscores the importance of preserving and passing down these customs to future generations.

It is believed among the Korean people that wishes made on the 15th January of the lunar calendar will come true in the course of the lunar year. This belief adds an extra layer of significance to the festivities, making the occasion not only a time for celebration but also a moment for expressing hopes and dreams for a prosperous and fulfilling year ahead.

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