Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), one of the nation's two biggest holidays along with Seollal (Lunar New Year), is celebrated on Aug. 15 under the lunar calendar, or Sept. 21 per the solar calendar.
People have three full days to relax and enjoy, as the days before and after Chuseok are also national holidays.
Chuseok also sees the largest annual migration of people visiting their hometowns and traveling across the nation.
The holiday is also known to have great weather for farmers to reap bountiful harvests like the "many grains and 100 fruits," making Chuseok the most fertile period of the year.
Thus a proverb says "Wish not for more or less but just like Chuseok."
The word "Chuseok" literally means "eve of autumn" as well as a great holiday when the moon is brightest.
The following are the photos of scenes in Korea welcoming Chuseok.
The scene of family members visiting their hometowns with presents to celebrate comes to mind upon hearing the word "Chuseok." This long tradition sees a display of gratitude by sharing gifts not only with family but also those close friends.
This year, however, Koreans have been urged to spend the holiday at home. Premium hanwoo domestic beef and fruit have long been the most popular presents, but more people are increasingly showing their holiday spirit in a noncontact manner with gifts of health food, hygiene products, household goods and health supplements.
Ahead of Chuseok, dried gulbi (yellow corvina) on Sept. 12 is prepared for sale nine days ahead of the holiday on Gulbi Street in Beopseong-myeon Township of Yeonggwang-gun County, Jeollanam-do Province. Salted and dried yellow corvina is called gulbi.
Salting the fish made in the region and drying it with the sea breeze of Beopseongpo Port made Yeonggwang gulbi famous enough to be served to the king. The fame of this variety endures today as one of the top presents for Chuseok. Drying gulbi is an exotic scene that well represents the county.
A family on Sept. 12 visits Dongsan Memorial Park in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do Province, to pay tribute to ancestors by visiting a cemetery. This tradition is called seongmyo, or a ancestor-honoring practice involving visiting ancestors' graves, cutting weeds, cleaning the area around the tombs and holding simple rituals. This custom is usually done during Seollal and Chuseok, but because these times means cemeteries can get too crowded, another option is to perform the ritual one or two weeks earlier.
During Chuseok, grain ripens in the field and chestnuts on mountains are ready for harvest. A farm owner on Sept. 9 holds an opened chestnut at a farm in Banpo-myeon Township of Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do Province, where workers are busy harvesting. Gongju's chestnuts are a regional specialty famous for high sugar content and long preservation periods.
Songpyeon (half-moon rice cake) is a must-have Chuseok delicacy. People make this dessert to thank ancestors after harvesting fruits and crops. The name songpyeon stems from this rice cake being steamed on piles of pine needles. In addition to rice, the dessert is made with red beans and sesame seeds used to fill the center.
The treat's standard shape is round like a full moon but other regions use other shapes like a half-moon. Children on the morning of Sept. 14 make songpyeon at Namdo Folk Food Exhibition Room in Gwangju's Buk-gu District.
The Cultural Heritage Administration will open traditional palaces and royal tombs during the Chuseok period. From Sept. 17-23 a large model of a full moon will be displayed around the monument Punggidae at Changgyeonggung Palace from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
From Sept. 18-22, the five major palaces of the Joseon Dynasty -- Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung and Gyeonghuigung -- Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of Joseon are all open to visitors. Pictured is a view of Deoksugung on Sept. 9, when a contemporary art exhibition was held.
"I missed you, Grandma." As relaxed quarantine measures for Chuseok allow visitors at nursing hospitals and related facilities, families on the afternoon of Sept. 13 visited a municipal care center for the elderly in Seoul's Seongdong-gu District to see relatives at a noncontact room for family meetings.