Chuseok: Korean Thanksgiving

Chuseok is a holiday that takes place over the first week of October to celebrate the harvest, Koreans get together similar to Thanksgiving in America and spend time with their families.  Since I do not have family here it was simply a long weekend, of which I took advantage of by getting some things done that have been on my bucket list.  I finally got some clothes shopping done, myself and some others went down to Han River Park to watch the fireworks show, we visited a couple of clubs, went Bukhansan Park, and once again I made some new friends.

The fireworks were absolutely nuts, supposedly its the largest fireworks display in the world although I am not sure how true that is.  The park itself had easily upwards of 1-2 million people in it, to say it was crowded was an understatement, getting out of the metro took 15 minutes alone which is something that usually takes about 3.IMG_2835

The park while massive, simply isn’t meant to have that many people in it; people show up hours beforehand just to grab a small patch of grass to lay a blanket.


My favorite part of the show involved a nearby bridge of which fireworks were place to shower downwards into the river like a golden, shimmering waterfall.  To say it was beautiful would be an understatement, striking might be a better adjective for it.  Once it was over myself as well as my friends walked to a nearby edm concert that was being played along the river.  Everyone was dancing and having a good time, I love that everyone in this country is looking to have a good time, no one ever seems preoccupied by something or is generally miserable.  After walking around for a bit after the concert we parted ways as last metro was going be leaving soon.

Having just had a midterm the week prior I was free from work for the week and was thus able to make a trip to Bukhansan park during the week.  Bukhansan is about a 45 minute metro ride north and consists of a small mountain that overlooks Seoul.  The hike itself was very relaxing, although I admittedly sweat through my tank top, but overall the hiking was easy enough at least compared to Jeju.  After a bit of scampering towards the top and waiting for others to move along we reached the peak.  From the top you could see the entirety of Seoul, it was breathtaking.  Namsan Tower in the center of the city could be utilized as a landmark, I could generally figure out where my apartment was as well as some other key spots in Seoul.  We got some pictures together after looking around for a while and then proceeded to make our way back down.  On the way down I noticed for the first time that the colors of the trees were changing, Fall had truly come.  Bukhansan was beautiful, originally a mountaintop fortress to protect Seoul from invading Manchurians, it additionally has palaces, shrines, and a large wall that are throughout the park and mountain.

I still think about the view from atop the mountain occasionally, it’s not something I’ll forget anytime soon.McGauleyS10