Chuseok is a festival where all hope arises and people celebrate with their families a new beginning towards a better year. People all around the world celebrate Thanksgiving while people in Korea celebrate Chuseok. People meet and greet each other while exchanging gifts. When you gift someone something during Chuseok it holds some meaning to it.
Giving gifts was considered a huge thing back in the 1950s when the country’s economic condition was not so well. The Korean War had a huge impact on the country’s economy. People felt lucky to be receiving a gift during that time. Giving and receiving gifts normalized during the 1960s. The gifts given have changed according to the time and economic condition of the country. In the 1970s people gifted cooking oils, cosmetics, coffee sets etc., these gifts changed in the 80s when fruits, meat and beauty products started to catch on. While as time went by, in the 90s gift vouchers were given as they were convenient along with health-related products like red ginseng and honey.
Now in the 21st-century gifts are different; they include all types while some are still the same as the old times. The gift should be given and received by both hands. Also opening gifts in front of the giver is claimed to be rude, it is okay to open if it is from a friend by asking if they want the gift to be opened in front of them. Gifts can be prepared at homes or be store-bought.
Because people travel back to their ancestral homes, most of the shops are closed during the day of the festivities. But some shops are closed only through the morning and open in the afternoon. Some shops are open the entire day without a break including many foreign restaurants. Transport services will be open too; the only difference is that they will be available for a limited time. So, if you have any last-minute shopping left, then you need not panic, you’ll have plenty of options to look at.
Gifts have a way of conveying a message according to what’s being gifted. When you’re invited to anyone’s home to celebrate with their family then it is considered nice when you bring a small gift for the hostess. Some ideas for the small gifts can be cookies, cake, flowers, fruits etc. but keeping in mind that never gift a woman liquor. Always wrap the gifts in bright colours like yellow and green. Never use dark colours, especially red while wrapping gifts as they’re the colours that represent death.
If you’re planning to gift your loved ones something special then we have some ideas for you! Many people settle on giving cash as a gift. Cash is convenient to give when you don’t have an idea but when it is given it means something. When you give someone cash on Chuseok it means that you are giving them the freedom to do whatever they want to do. It also shows that you care a lot about the person being gifted.
People also gift red ginseng and it is also preferred over ginseng as it has a lot of health benefits. Ginseng can be upsetting for a person whose body creates a lot of heat so red ginseng is considered better for all. Along with it, multivitamins, lutein for the eyes and probiotics for guts are also included while giving health care products as gifts. Hanwoo meat is considered a very generous gift as it is very expensive. The younger generation is turning vegetarian for the benefit of animal rights awareness but the older generation appreciates hanwoo or hanu as a gift. It is obtained from a cattle breed from South Korea; the availability is less due to lesser space for breeding which results in its high price.
Hangwa, liquor, spam, seasonal fruits are also considered great gifts. Chuseok is a harvest festival, so, gifting these items is a smart idea. They’re easily available and can be easy on the pocket.
The beauty standard in Korea is very different from that of other countries. People are very conscious about their skincare and appearance. Keeping this in mind self-care sets are the best ideas for a gift. One of the most recommended gifts set is the kerasys shampoo set. It contains body wash, soap, shampoo, and a scrubbing flannel, with these amazing things inside the packaging is very elegant and attractive too.
Another incredible gift set is the Andong beef gift set. The packaging is very clean and it makes raw meat look very appetizing. Seafood sets are also a great idea. One of the signature products is the semi-dried yellow Corvina fish. In addition to that, abalone, seaweed and anchovies are also given in the seafood gift set. They’re used to make side dishes and stock for soup. Gifting something that can be used by all the members of the family rather than an individual is always better.
Taking into account that we’re in the 21st century, people tend to get creative regarding what to give as a gift. For men, perfume, Bluetooth speaker, leather wallets, a cool purse to keep their iPhones in, leather belts, a shaving kit, and a galaxy tab, are the best options for a gift. Not only they are ideal but can be used daily. When it comes to a gift for women, there are no limited options. You can give a gift wrapped in Bojagi Korean wrap cloth which is a silk wrap. It makes the gift appear pretty and can be used multiple times. Colour changing LED finger heart lamp is the perfect gift for a little girl. There are 5 types of Korean hearts and using them as a lamp, now is a good idea.
K-pop has the biggest fan base in South Korea. Along with it, you can find k-pop merch almost everywhere, on billboards, posters around the city, small merch available in shops and whatnot. If you give your loved one something that reminds them of their favourite k-pop group then they surely will cherish it forever. Beauty products, snacks, games, the list goes on. But the ultimate gift that can be given to both men and women is Hanbok. It’s vintage, it’s traditional and it represents their culture which is very important to Korean people. No other gift can beat yours if you’re planning on gifting a Hanbok.
While you’re noting down what to gift to people close to you, keep in mind the things you should not gift. These things even if gifted with affection, will be considered offensive. Do not gift anyone anything very expensive as then they will feel that they are obligated to reciprocate the same kind of gift to you. Knives and scissors are very offensive gifts as it would mean that you are cutting off your respective relationship and ties with them.
If you’re planning on gifting any headwear on Chuseok, then avoid gifting them in the colour green. There is also a Chinese saying that the person wearing a green hat has a cheating spouse at home, which is why green headwear is avoided. Never write someone’s name with red ink on a gift or anywhere as that is a bad omen and also symbolizes death. Also never gift anything in the sets of 4 as the number 4 in Korea is believed to denote death. These are the key points you need to remember at all times while gifting anything. If you’ve avoided using all these things while gifting then you’re in the right lane.