Jongwoldaeborum, the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, stands as a beloved folk celebration among Korean people, alongside Lunar New Year’s Day and Chusok (Harvest Moon Day). This tradition, marking the first full moon of the lunar new year, has been a source of joy and unity since time immemorial.

In 2024, Jongwoldaeborum is on Saturday, 24th of February.

Jongwoldaeborum is more than just a date on the calendar; it’s a moment when communities come together to express hopes for a thriving harvest, abundant fishing, and overall happiness in the upcoming year. The festivities kick off on the fourteenth day of the lunar calendar, with activities, games, and culinary delights all centered around the collective wish for a prosperous and joy-filled year.

A special custom associated with Jongwoldaeborum involves setting up poles adorned with various grains on January 14th of the lunar calendar. Grains like rice, kaoliang, millet, and cotton fruits are carefully arranged on long poles, symbolizing the shared aspiration for a fruitful harvest. Additionally, the act of carrying manure to rice fields in the early morning reflects the sincere dedication to labor and the desire for agricultural success.

As the first full moon graces the evening sky, communities gather on the hills behind their villages to engage in heartfelt conversations while appreciating the beauty of the lunar spectacle. This communal bonding under the glow of the moon symbolizes the collective spirit of the people, united in their vision for a promising year ahead.

Jongwoldaeborum is also marked by various folk games, such as kite-flying, toy pinwheel spinning, and tug of war. These activities, rooted in tradition, bring communities together, fostering a sense of unity and joy.

The culinary aspects of Jongwoldaeborum are equally significant, with festival foods including boiled rice mixed with four staple cereals and dishes made from nine kinds of dried edible herbs. These delectable offerings not only satisfy the palate but also symbolize the abundance and diversity sought in the upcoming year.

The customs associated with Jongwoldaeborum have organically evolved in harmony with the lives of Korean people. Today, they continue to be preserved and developed in tandem with the dynamic progress of Korean society. Reflecting on the significance of Jongwoldaeborum, we appreciate the enduring cultural richness embedded in these traditions, acting as a bridge between our past and our ever-evolving present.

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