Chilseok is a Korean
Culture of Korea
The current political separation of North and South Korea has resulted in divergence in modern Korean cultures; nevertheless, the traditional culture of Korea is historically shared by both states.-Dance:...

 traditional festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

 which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Korean lunisolar calendar
Lunisolar calendar
A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season; if it is taken as a sidereal year then the calendar will...

. Chilseok is derived from the Chinese festival, Qi Xi
Qi Xi
Qixi Festival , also known as Magpie Festival, falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese calendar; thus its name. It inspired Tanabata in Japan, Chilseok in Korea, and Thất Tịch in Vietnam...

. Chilseok is a period where the heat starts to pass away and the monsoon season begins, and the rain that falls during this period is called Chilseok water. As pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons start to flourish during this period, people traditionally offered fried pumpkin to the Great Dipper
Big Dipper
The Plough, also known as the Big Dipper or the Saptarishi , is an asterism of seven stars that has been recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures from time immemorial...


The Story of Chilseok

According to the well-known story, the heavenly king had a daughter called Jiknyeo, who was very good at weaving clothes. One day, when she looked out of the window while weaving, she saw a handsome boy, a herder called Gyeonwu, just across the Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

. She fell in love with him. Finally the heavenly father allowed the two to get married. Afterward, Jiknyeo did not want to weave clothes, and Gyeonwu did not take good care of the cows and sheep. The heavenly king grew angry, and ordered the couple to live apart from each other, allowing them to meet only once a year. On the seventh day of the seventh month of each year, they were excited to meet each other, but they could not cross the Milky Way. However, crows and magpies worked together to form a bridge across the Milky Way for the couple. After a while, their sadness returned because they were forced to wait another year before meeting again. It is said that crows and magpies have no feathers on their heads because of the couple stepping on their heads. If it rains on the that night, it is said to be the couple's tears.

Chilseok Customs

On Chilseok, Koreans used to take baths for health. In addition, it is traditional to eat wheat flour noodles and grilled wheat cake. Chilseok is known as the last chance to enjoy wheat based foods, since the cold winds after Chilseok ruin the good scent of wheat, making these dishes a must have for the dinner table. People also used to eat wheat pancake called milijeonbyeong (밀전병), and sirutteok
Sirutteok is a type of Korean rice cake traditionally made by steaming rice or glutinous rice flour in a "siru" , a large earthenware vessel used for steaming which gives "sirutteok" its name. "Sirutteok" is regarded as the oldest form of tteok in Korean history.-Preparation:Sirutteok is made by...

which is a steamed rice cake
Rice cake
A rice cake may be any kind of food item made from rice that has been shaped, condensed, or otherwise combined into a single object. A wide variety of rice cakes exist in many different cultures in which rice is eaten, and are particularly prevalent in Asia. The origin of rice cake seems to be...

 covered with azuki bean
Azuki bean
The is an annual vine, Vigna angularis, widely grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas for its small bean. The cultivars most familiar in north-east Asia have a uniform red color, but white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known. Scientists presume Vigna angularis var...

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