Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement

Archive for October 8, 2012

Chuseok Girl

Chuseok Girl, Metro Train, Seoul, South Korea, Copyright Chris Gregory 2008

After a short trip to the south of South Korea we returned to Seoul to celebrate with our hosts the harvest festival of Chuseok.  This a family gathering time and a celebration of a good harvest and of ancestors. In the days leading up to Chuseok the shops are full of gift items and special foods and furniture that are part of the rituals that go with the day.

Chuseok is also a time when you see the national Hanbok costume worn in the streets, especially by older people and children.  Supermarkets and department stores bring out racks of Hanbok to entice first-time buyers or older customers to update their costumes.  Hanbok  is often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means “Korean clothing”, hanbok today often refers specifically to hanbok of Joseon Dynasty and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations.

This image was captured on a Seoul metro train and shows a young girl with her mother.  Mother probably has a wedding photograph showing her wearing Hanbok, but probably only otherwise wears it on formal occasions.  Young girls especially like to be seen in Hanbok at the time of Chuseok.