With the Chuseok holiday approaching, a growing number of Koreans are opting for an easier, relaxed holiday over centuries-old rituals, reflecting the slowly changing tide of the national holiday customs.
More people are choosing to travel abroad during the long holiday. For a holiday gift, some children give their parents a wrinkle reduction surgery or Botox injections. Many women order ready-made food for “jesa,” a memorial service for the family’s departed relatives, through an online shop instead of preparing them in their kitchens.
Travel agency Hana Tour said people traveling abroad during the Chuseok holiday this year has increased by 13 percent compared to the same period last year. For young people who could not take a long summer vacation, Chuseok is a second chance to relieve stress from being overworked at stressful jobs.
For some families who cannot go abroad, they stop by nearby vacation spots on the way home from their familial visits in the countryside. Even for a day, they book a hotel and get some much-needed rest after days of completing their family duties. And for large families who don’t observe ancestral rituals, they go on a family vacation together.
Some ancestral rituals are also being scaled down in size as more convenient options have become available in recent years, such as ready-made jesa food. With the click of a mouse, people can receive prepared ritual food sets all packed and ready-to-go.
Chuseok has also become a perfect time for facial enhancement, as children pay for their aging parents to look younger through Botox injections and wrinkle reduction surgery as a holiday gift. Many plastic surgery clinics now open during the holiday, as it is has become a new peak season crammed with young and old alike wanting to upgrade their looks.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com