Daeboreum (대보름)

For those living in America, once the new year’s celebration is over, well, it’s over. But the celebration of new beginnings continues in Korea on the 15th day of the first lunar month when Daeboreum is celebrated.

Since Daeboreum is a lunar holiday, the holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar changes every year. This year Daeboreum is today, Feb. 17.

Traditionally Daeboreum was a time of preparation for the coming months and a time to pray for a blessing-filled year. Many of the customs of Daeboreum center around happiness, good health, and a plentiful harvest.

One of the foods traditionally eaten on Daeboreum is ogokbap (오곡밥), or five-grain rice. Sharing this dish with at least three neighbors or friends is considered to bring good luck throughout the year. This isn’t a dish I’ve tried to make yet but I’ll pass on a recipe I found on the Korea Tourism site. You’ll find it at this link. http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FO/FO_EN_Recipes.jsp?gotoPage=2&cid=1035956&cat1=21708&cat2=21711

Another tradition involves the eating nuts, called bureom. Bureom includes walnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, and peanuts. On Daeboreum people are expected to eat the number of nuts equivalent to their age.

One of the biggest Daeboreum festivals is the Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival, which is held on Jeju Island. This year’s festival begins today and runs through Saturday, Feb. 19. Here’s a link to the English Web site: www.buriburi.go.kr/foreign/eng/htmls/main.htm

Here’s the link to an excellent article about the holiday and its customs. www.seoulselection.com/index.php/article/single/daeboreum/ (And where I obtained some of the information for this post.)

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