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ChuSeok Festival, Korean celebration of autumn, set for Sunday

Posted on September 9th, 2022 By:

In America, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox is known as the Harvest Moon.

In Korea, people celebrate the fall full moon at ChuSeok – meaning “autumn eve” – with music, dancing and special foods. For many Koreans, it’s a time to return to their home towns to spend time with family and honor their ancestors.

This year the Harvest Moon appears on Sept. 10. Gig Harbor will host its second ChuSeok Festival Sunday, Sept. 11 at Skansie Park, thanks to a partnership with the Asia Pacific Cultural Center.

MiYoung Margolis Dance Collective performed at the ChuSeok Festival at Skansie Park on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. Courtesy APCC

ChuSeok highlights

According to APCC founder and long-time Gig Harbor resident Patsy Surh O’Connell, the day-long festivities will include several styles of dances, music played on Korean instruments, hands-on art and craft activities, traditional food and visits from dignitaries.  The festivities begin at 11 a.m. with the national anthems of both countries, followed by a moment of silence for the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Speakers include Gig Harbor Councilmember Robyn Denson, Korea Consul General for Seattle Eun Ji Seo and U.S. Reps. Marylin Strickland of Tacoma and Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor.

Highlights include traditional dances by the MiYoung Margolis Dance Collective, the Mun Dance Team and Elina’s K-Pop Team. The Thunder and Wind drummers will perform.

Festival goers can also get their faces painted with Korean motifs. They can learn how to make a paper lotus flower and a lotus lantern, how to write their name in Korean and how to make kimchi. During the grand finale, the audience will learn the traditional ChuSeok dance, Gang Gang Suele.

Elina’s K-Pop dance group will perform several modern dances at Sunday’s ChuSeok Festival.

Korean food

Free samples of ChuSeok rice cakes will be provided. A food truck will provide more substantial eats.

“Taking a holiday to connect young and old, and thereby our history with our future, is a truly beautiful concept,” Gig Harbor Mayor Tracie Markley wrote in a welcome letter.

“Having a hands-on experience here in Gig Harbor where we can learn and explore the Korean culture is such an incredible opportunity to connect through food, language, music and friendship. As our understanding of one another grows, so does our empathy – and that’s a big part of what has always made Gig Harbor such a special place.”

ChuSeok Full Moon Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11

Where: Skansie Park in downtown Gig Harbor.

What: The Asia Pacific Cultural Center sponsors the free, family-friendly event.

Lightning and Wind drum team will open Sunday’s ChuSeok Festival. Courtesy APCC