Most families become very busy about one week prior to Seollal(Lunar New Year's Day). There is a list of shopping to do to prepare for the ancestral rites and for all family members who gathers for the reunion on holidays. Not to mention, department stores and market enjoy a boom on Seollal since people shop for gifts to give to their parents and friends. As required as parts of the ancestral rites(차례; Charye), meat, fish, fruit, Korean traditional snack ‘Hangwa’, tteokguk (rice cake soup), and various types of wild vegetables are essential items to purchase. The foods prepared for this rite must be in premium condition in shapes, colors and freshness. [Origin: Visit Korea, Korea Tourism Organization]
*Click the link and find more details about Charye: http://www.roryandjamie.com/tag/charye/
For that reason, Seomun market, the largest one in Daegu, is crowded with many people who shop fresh but less expensive groceries in holiday season. Then let's take a look how people prepare Seollal in Seomun market together!
Before shopping in earnest, why don't we browse the street-food shops in the market? A loaf of bread is better than the song of many birds, isn’t it?
There are lots of, delicious & representative food like diverse fried fish cakes, fried rice pan cakes, Korean banquet noodle soup and dumpling soup in Seomun market. However, these are just a part of menu that the market carries. It’s a better idea to visit the place yourself and check out all kinds of food.
We have checked where the food-shops are located and now it's high time to go shopping! Here are the required items for the ancestral rites such apples, pears, persimmons, diverse vegetable, fish, etc. Koreans also prepare traditional pastry for the rites called 유과(Yugwa). As meaning fried cake or cookies, Yugwa is made of fried rice pastry and grain syrup.
You may wonder what the bowls and plates are in the picture above and when they are used. Those are called 제기(Jeggi) and usually made by wood or brass.
We have looked around Korean traditional market greeting Seollal together so far. How was it? :-) I recommend you to visit the high-spirited market in person on the weekend prior to Korean holidays like Chuseok or Seollal next time.
[Photo by Mun-ju, Kim, the Daegu blog press 2014]