Yesterday the mother in law came home with a big bag of peanuts, dropped them on the table and exclaimed I must eat them with her. “Chaaaanntil pleeeese s*it douun”. The next twenty minutes were filled with broken Korean on my part, “Peanuts, why buy?” and so forth while she pointed at the sky repeating ‘moon’ and ‘Seolnal.’
정월 대보름 ‘Jeong-wol Dae-bo-reum’ is the first full moon day, celebrated 15 days after Korean New Year (Lunar calendar). Traditionally walnuts were/are eaten on this day, as a superstition to keep boils and abscesses of the mouth away for the year. The mother in law cracked open the shells with her teeth and insisted I do it too as a sign of good health and to bring more of it into my life. I’m of the thought that it’d be damaging to my teeth so I opened them the boring way with my hands. She used to crack open walnut shells with her teeth!
If you want to read more about the holiday and the different traditions practiced, this article is fantastic. This one shows different events held around the festival and the top six places around Korea to best view the moon from.
Do you have any traditions/ celebrations around the moon where you’re from?
Happy days – Chan and Bob