The ceremony of "Commemoration of the ancestors" in Korea

     In Korean villages it feels completely different, comparing with the atmosphere of the bustling, business-like, stingywith emotions capital. People here were kinder, closer to each other, all the villagers knew the problems and joys of their neighbors and were always ready to help out selflessly. Jin-Ho's maternal grandparents were always very happy to see their grandkids, gathering at a large table laid with various kinds of dishes: kimchi, chotgal (salted clams, fish or shrimp) andtwengzhang (soy paste)delicious soup "galbi-tang" with beef ribs, fried chicken in a spicy sauce. Grandparents played and pampered them.The family often came to the grandparents' village to celebrate Sollal[1] and to participate in the rite of JongmyoCherye[2], the commemoration of the ancestors.



    The ceremony was propitiatory in nature, people believed that the closest ancestors continue to be patrons of their family and influence all the processes and important family decisions. In this way, the generations were connected. The ancestor cult is not only the worship of the dead, but also unconditional respect and reverence for the older generation instilled in young Koreans from childhood. The essence of the ceremony consists in feeding the ancestors delicious food, treating them as if they were alive.

"Grandma, are we going to have dinner with our great-grandparents today? What will we feed them?"little brother Hyeon-Jae asked and looked at his grandmother with hungry, sly eyes.

"We're going to give them galbi-tang and noodles put on their plates. Don't worry, my dear, I will never forget to give you something finger-licking good!"

In childhood, everything seems simple and ordinary. Food just appears on the table, just like new pencils, mom and dad just plays with you all the time, and grandma and grandpa await you with candy on the weekends. The car just starts and goes, things appear and change, parents are always young. What a pity that this simplicity quickly ends and every year the child understands more and more that everything was not that simpleat all…


[1]Sollalis Korean New Year,it is the first day of the Korean calendar and one of the most important traditional Korean holidays. It's celebrated not later than the 20 February.

 

[2]JongmyoCheryeis a memorial ceremony. According to the Korean belief, the soul of a person does not leave immediately after his death, but remains with descendants for several generations. All this time, the dead person is still considered a family member, and Koreans hold a special memorial ceremony in his honor.

 

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