Thursday, February 21, 2008


Today is '정월대보름' (Jeongwol Daeboreum) - the 15th day after the Lunar New Year (which for various reasons turned into a non-event for us this year, but saw us at temples and fortune tellers last time). It's significant because it's the day of the first full moon after the start of the year, and in Korea this means praying to it once night falls, in much the same way as on Chuseok (추석), or Thanksgiving.

In the words of

"On the day when the first full moon appears, Koreans wish for good luck and health throughout the year by taking part in folk games and customs, based on an old belief that the light of the full moon of the year signifies affluence and good luck."

It also requires eating special food for breakfast, as well as nuts to ensure healthy teeth through the year (now they tell me), or possibly it's meant to be healthy skin. The food is meant to protect the body against the hot summer, but since my wife figures that she won't be here to have to endure it, her eating of the food was decidedly half-hearted.

Despite the huge number of large windows in our apartment designed to give the occupants that Big Brother contestant feeling, it transpired that we couldn't see the moon in the evening from it, and since we'd no desire to see if the roof was accessible, we gave it a miss. So if we have an unlucky year, we only have ourselves to blame...

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