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How Korean thanksgiving holiday of Chuseok has changed over time Updated: 2020-10-01 13:52:06 KST


Despite the hardships after the Korean War in the 1950s, people still put in the extra effort to make Chuseok special.
They bought fresh produce from markets to prepare traditional Chuseok dishes and dressed their children in their best clothes.
People also gathered at movie theaters, looking for entertainment.
In the 70s, people flocked to the capital city thanks to rapid industrialization and urbanization.
This was when Chuseok became the time of year when people rushed back to their hometowns to see family and follow ancestral traditions.
Seoul Station would be packed with people making this journey.
In the 90s, as car ownership in Korea skyrocketed, Chuseok became known as the 'mass migration period,' with almost half of the country's population hitting the road to visit their hometowns.
While this may look like a parking lot, it's actually a stretch of highway in 1992, jammed with cars all hoping to make it home in time for the holiday.
In the 21st century, people started heading further afield during Chuseok.
With overseas travel becoming more commonplace and with the Chuseok holiday being extended to five days, people often traveled abroad with family.
This year, things will be different once again.
The government has put down heavy restrictions on traveling, in fear of coronavirus outbreaks.
So rather than visiting relatives or flying abroad, people are using online platforms to carry out Chuseok traditions from the comfort of their homes.
Memorial parks are launching services that allow users to virtually follow the ancestral ritual, without the risk of spreading the virus.
In just a few decades, Chuseok has gone through several transformations, but if there's one thing time won't change, it's that Chuseok is a time for family and warmth.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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