Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Internet Changes Rituals for Chuseok

The universal availability of the internet in South Korea is beginning to change how some families approach the rituals assoicated with Chuseok, Korea's harvest moon festival.  According to an article in the Korea Times, the Chuseok holidays extend three days this year from Sept. 13 to 15. But weeks prior to the holidays, families have already started their trip to their ancestors' tombs to hold a ritual, in order to avoid traffic jams during the holidays. Last weekend, most highways were jammed with those trying to pay an early visit to their ancestors. But even ``smarter'' holidaymakers opt out of congestions by using ``beolcho,'' or grave weeding services.  It is easy to find such services on the internet.  Likewise, there are internet-based services to prepare all of the food required for family gatherings at Chuseok, a chore that used to cause housewives to suffer from "holiday sickness," even before the holiday.

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