Saturday, October 3, 2009

추석 잘 보내세요! (Have A Happy Chuseok!)

Well today was the official date of Chuseok this year.  In Korea, the day before and after Chuseok are also holidays, so we had Friday off to begin our celebrations.  Our schools also gave us Monday off, which is pretty sweet.

On Friday I talked to Laura and we decided that we weren't going to go down to Pusan this weekend because we were both kind of having second thoughts.  I, for one, was not thrilled with the idea of getting home so late on Monday night and having to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for my most boring day of classes on Tuesday.  The last thing I need is to fall asleep while listening to the third graders sing...again.  I basically spent Friday vegetating, which was awesome.  Around 8pm I went out to find dinner and got totally creeped out by how DEAD our street was.  Most stores/restaurants (even our noodle house and our 24/7 gimbab place!) were shut down already and there were very few people out on our street.  It was so odd...and the quietest it has been since I moved in.  I ended up heading over to my buds at Pizza School and getting a cheese crust pepperoni pizza, which was just as tasty as I imagined it would be. 

Saturday morning I slept late (easy to do when our street is so silent!) and met up with Chicago Laura and Erich at Gyeongbokgung Palace to partake in some free/cheap cultural events for Chuseok.  It was a beautiful day and we arrived at the palace where admission was free for the day.  There were tons of precious children dressed in traditional Korean dress called hanboks.

Lovely day.

Guards outside the palace.  MENACING!

I mean, look at those fancy hats.  Who would want to mess with that?

I wanted to steal her.  Look how gorgeous she looks!

As we were walking around, we spotted a place where you could try on hanboks for free, so (OF COURSE) we put our names on the list.  There was a bit of a wait, so we walked over to hear a concert of traditional flute and drum music.

To say this concert was ten MILLION times better than the last would still be an understatement.  It was excellent.

Then it was finally our turn to party like it was 1399 (when the Joseon Dynasty ruled Korea and introduced the hanboks, obviously).

Love this photo.  Love the H1N1 preventative mask, love Erich's face, love it all. 

Check us out.  You're jealous.  Also, please note for the future that hanboks are not made for girls with any sort of boobs.

 I stole these children for our picture, thus capturing one of my favorite Korean photos so far.  Random strangers were taking pictures of how awesome we were.

This pair of children (esp the girl) was somewhat less excited about being in our picture.  Too bad.

After changing out of our finery, we headed over to the Korean Folk Museum where they had a bunch of tents set up with stuff you could make.  Since we all know how I feel about arts and crafts (deep, passionate love), I obviously couldn't pass this up.

First, Laura and I made hanji (special Korean paper) lanterns while Erich walked around.

Then all three of us carved ducks which are a symbol of good luck here.

Posing with our finished products.

Overall, it was a really fantastic day.

Erich, me, and Laura with the Folk Museum in the background.

After leaving the palace, we walked around for a bit before having a fantastic dinner of soup and vegetable pancakes that left us SOOOO full for the walk back to the metro and the trip home.  On the ride home, Erich shared some choice K-Pop that was on his iPod with me, which was awesome.

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