My the “Tteokguk” during the New Year’s Day

My research report will be focus on the Korean traditional New Year holiday,
also known as “Wondan.” “Wondan” is a three days holiday which consists the day
before New Year day, the New Year Day and the day after New Year, it is one of
the most important holidays in Korea history. Therefore, people would gather
with all their family members at home to celebrate this holiday. In general, the
New Year holiday is the only few opportunities during the year for people who
do not live with their family to come together, and visit their relative’s
family members. According to Korean Cultural Center NY’s article “Korean
Holidays,” the earlier record of the celebrations of New Year can be track back
to the 13th century by a historical book called “The Memorabilia of the Three
Kingdoms.” (Korean Cultural Center NY) The court officials of the three
kingdoms in Korea decided to dedicate New Year as a national holiday.

The traditional New Year is a typically
family holiday. The celebration begins in the first day’s morning, family
members will be dress on their special clothing for an ancestral rite to show their
respect to their ancestors, and younger generation pays respect to the older
generation. Moreover, after younger people show their respect to the elder, they
will receive the pocket money from the elder as well as good wishes. After the
rite activities, family members will sit together and enjoy the ritual food. There
are many different kinds of ritual cuisine within the New Year celebration. The
most significant New Year’s dish is called “Tteokguk,” which is mean the rice
cake soup that eaten during the New Year’s Day. The “Tteokguk” is making with
broth soup and thinly sliced rice cakes. Additional, it can add up vegetable,
egg, meat and different sauces depend on people’s preference. People believe
that eaten the “Tteokguk” during the New Year’s Day will bring them good luck
and it is a celebration of gaining a year of age. In Korea, one of the polite ways
to know other’s age is by asking how many rice cake soups they have eaten.
Because Korean people usually eat the soup during the New Year session, a
person will only have eaten the same among of soups as their age. The history
of “Tteokguk” can be track back to 19th century according to a historical
book in Korea, called “Dongguksesigi.” The original style of this dish usually
use the beef broth, pepper, and seasoning. Most of the ingredients can be easily
found in majority people’s house, and it was much simpler than nowadays.
However, the meat of the animal was considering a luxury food at that time
because males must go out to hunt for the meat. Then, the female members will
need to storage the fresh meat in properly in order to consume in the important
holiday. According to Arousing Appetites’s article “Tteokguk: Korean Rice Cake
Soup,” the New Year’s Day is one of the most important festival in South Korea
since the ancestor era, and all the family members gather at home to celebrate
for the New Year. In general, male members of the family take the
responsibility to offering foods and the female members do the preparation
part. However, they will need to offer the ritual foods to their family’s
ancestors before they consumed.

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