1. Topic: Food Festivals of South Korea
2. Writer: WBT3 (English Team: Sukanya Roychowdhury, Shrijita Ghosh)
3. Short Explanation: We created a Wikipedia page on the 'Food Festivals of South Korea' in English. Food Festivals of South Korea range from traditional food to modern with dishes featuring the finest local ingredients which provide insight into Korea's taste and culture. These festival find their origin as a means of retaining their cultural identity, raising awareness, and promoting local produce, cuisine as well as the Korean food industry.
4. Link: Food Festivals of South Korea
1. Topic: Korean Alcoholic Drinks (কোরিয়ান অ্যালকোহলযুক্ত পানীয়)
2. Writer: WBT3 (Bengali Team 1: Susmita Mondal, Olivia Guha, Barsha Laskar)
3. Short Explanation: We created a Wikipedia page on 'Korean Alcoholic Drinks' in Bengali. Korean cuisine has a wide variety of traditional alcoholic drinks, known as sul (술). Many of these drinks end with the Sino-Korean word -ju (주; 酒), and some end with the native Korean word -sul. There are an estimated 1,000 or more kinds of alcoholic drinks in Korea. Most are made from rice, and are fermented with the aid of yeast and nuruk (a wheat-based source of the enzyme amylase). Fruits, flowers, herbs and other natural ingredients have also been used to craft traditional Korean alcoholic drinks.
1. Topic: Korean Folklore (কোরিয়ান লোককাহিনী)
2. Writer: WBT3 (Bengali Team 2: Adrija Paul, Debanjana Maitra, Rupam Kundu, Sreetama Das Sharma)
3. Short Explanation: We created a Wikipedia page on 'Korean Folklore' in Bengali. Stories and practices that are considered part of Korean folklore go back several thousand years. These tales derive from a variety of origins, including Shamanism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and more recently Christianity. While many traditions have become less practiced or modernized, folklore remains deeply embedded in Korean society, continuing to influence fields such as religion, stories, art, and customs.
4. Link: Korean Folklore (কোরিয়ান লোককাহিনী)
1. Topic: Korean Calligraphy (কোরিয়ান ক্যালিগ্রাফি)
2. Writer: WBT3 (Bengali Team 1: Barsha Laskar, Olivia Guha, Susmita Mondal)
3. Short Explanation: We created a Wikipedia page on 'Korean Calligraphy' in Bengali. Korean calligraphy, also known as Seoye (서예), is the Korean tradition of artistic writing. Calligraphy in Korean culture involves both Hanja (Chinese logograph) and Hangul (Korean native alphabet).
A mythological tale about a man fighting with a dragon.
How religions have influenced Korean art over the years.
1. Topic: Cherry Blossom Festival in South Korea
2. Writer: West Bengal Team 4: Members- (Srotoswini, Tithi, Soumi)
Cherry Blossom festival in South Korea
Cherry Blossom in Korea or bbeot-kkot (벚꽃) season is one of the most popular times to visit Korea. A cherry blossom is a flower of the many trees of genus Prunus. People queue up for the annual Cherry Blossom festival. Cherry Blossom blooms usually around in two weeks between late March and early April. The country turns a gorgeous shade of pink when cherry trees bloom in millions. Koreans refer to the activity of blossom viewing as hanami (하나미), which is a loanword, meaning a much-anticipated event which involves friends or families walking or picnicking under the trees.
The origin of Cherry Blossom flower is said to be in Japan also known as Sakura. However, it was found that the origin of Yoshino cherry (요시노벚) trees in Jinhae was not Japan, but Jeju Island, Korea. Since then, citizens have started to spread their awareness of cherry trees, and a movement to revive the cherry blossoms in Jinhae has been actively carried out.
In the year 1963 the name of wangbeonnamu (왕벚나무, king cherry tree) name was created in Korean was created when the Korean official plant resource survey team found three trees, until then it was known as sakuranamu (사쿠라나무, sakura) or teolbeonnamu (털벚나무, hairy cherry). Wangbeonnamu (왕벚나무) literary means "king cherry tree" while wangbeotkkot (왕벚) means "king cherry blossom". Often, this Jeju Island native Yoshino cherry (요시노벚) is referred to as someiyosino (소메이요시노), which denotes a Japanese name for Yoshino cherry.
- South Korea and Japanese history with Cherry Blossom:
The number of King Cherry is very rare in usual. A single cherry tree was discovered in the north slope of Mt. Halla near Gwaneumsa Temple. Similarly, in the same Mt. Halla another single tree was discovered in the south slope in 1932. The first Korean official plant resource survey team was established in 1962 and they found three trees. Another three trees were found by this team in the very next year, in 1963. It was observed in 1965, that there are wild cherry trees species which grow in Mt. Halla in Jeju Island. This king cherry was similar to Yoshino cherry.
There are some famous says which can be a part of the controversial history of cherry blossom between Korea and Japan. One of these are cherry blossoms were planted in Changgyeonggung Palace in Seoul, during the time when Japan took over Korea. China and Korea both claim to be the origin of Japan's cherry trees. Similarly, as sakura, Korea uses a loanword (사쿠라), is the most common way to refer to the flower. However the native Korean word is beot-kkot for this tree(벚꽃). The activity of Cherry blossom viewing also uses the loanword hanami (하나미). However, it is natively known as kkot-gugyeong (꽃구경) in Korean.
- Famous Cherry Blossom Festivals in South Korea :
- Jeju King Cherry Blossom Festival:
The Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival is where the nation’s first cherry blossoms can be seen. This festival can be seen all around the Seogwipo downtown area and the Jeju Sports Complex. Among all the cherry blossoms, the petals of the Jeju's king cherry blossoms are the largest and most luxurious. Though many other cherry blossoms bloom from the end of March to early April, these cherry blossoms fully blossom only for 2 to 3 days and these king cherry blossoms can only be seen in full bloom during the festival period in early April. The main attraction of the festival is the gorgeous cherry blossom road where visitors can enjoy romantic music as well as the beautiful scenery. The festival also features a cherry blossom photo zone as well as various attractive programs for the tourists. In addition, a vast lighting system makes sure that the festival can be enjoyed fully, day or night. During the festival period, Jeonnong-ro Street is closed to all vehicular traffic so everyone can safely enjoy the blossoms.
- Jinhae Gunhangje Festival:
From the end of March to early April, Korea’s largest cherry blossom festival takes place in the town of Jinhae in Gyeongsangnam-do Province. Over 2 million tourists come from all over the world come to visit this naval port city, to participate in the annual cherry blossom festival. There are so many cherry blossom trees in Jinhae that when the wind blows it seems as if it is raining cherry blossom petals. The historic streets of Jinhae with many 100-year old buildings turn white and pink with cherry blossom tunnels and raining petals. The many cherry blossom trees along the roads also create fantastic tunnels to walk through which attracts lots of tourists.
Jinhae has been an important naval base on the south coast since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The festival originated from a memorial ceremony in 1952 for Adm. Yi Sun-shin, a 16th-century war hero. It is currently a combination of memorial services for Adm. Yi and cultural and artistic events.
The main highlight events of this festival include:
- Yeojwacheon Starlight Festival: it is an evening event which acts as the perfect harmony between cherry blossoms and illuminated laser lights. The Yeojwacheon stream and Romance bridge are decorated with light providing a unique atmosphere to the whole place.
- Sokcheonhang Port Multimedia Fireworks Show: it is another evening event which brightens the night sky of the Jinhae region. This happens just once in the entire festival period.
- Black Eagles Air Show: it is a remarkable event performed by the Black Eagles, the aerobatic display team of the Republic of Korea Air Force. Eight aircrafts form different outstanding formations in the sky in unision.
- Victory Parade: The Victory Parade re-enacts the victory march held by Admiral Yi Sun-sin and his army after winning a battle in the Imjin War (1592-1598). This event provides a glimpse into the past to all the visitors.
- Jinhae Military Band and Honor Guard Festival: this is the highlight of the whole festival. Jinhae is the homeport of the RoK Navy and withing the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival tenure, Jinhae Military Band and Honorary Guard Festival also takes place. Thus the visitors get to see delightful performances by the military band and honor guards from the Republic of Korea Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
- Visit to Korea Naval Academy and Naval Base Headquarters: Korea Naval Academy and Naval Base Headquarters are popular as unique attractions since they are open to the public only once, during the festival period. The main attraction for this visit is a life-sized model of the Turtle Ship designed by Admiral Yi on display at the Korea Naval Academy Museum.
- Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival:
Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival is held around Hwagae Market, a traditional open-air market situated on the border between Hadong in Gyeongsangnam-do and Gurye in Jeollanam-do. When April arrives, the Hwagae region looks as if it is carpeted in snow. The white petals from the blossoms give this beautiful appearance to the entire region. One of the most popular attractions of the festival is ‘The 10ri Cherry Blossom Road’ (ri is the traditional Korean measurement unit, and 10ri equals approximately 4.5km), the cherry blossom trees along this road from the market to Ssanggyesa Temple are a fantastic sight to behold. It is also known as ‘marriage road’, as it is said that if lovers walk down this road while holding hands, they will get married and will grow old together in an everlasting relationship.
Apart from the stunning beauty of the cherry blossoms, there is also an exciting series of seasonal programs and cultural events for tourists to enjoy. Nearby attractions include the historic Hwagae Market and numerous restaurants serving the province’s traditional cuisines such as euneo-hoe (sliced raw sweet-fish) and chamgetang (king crab broth).
- Yeouido Spring Flowers Festival:
The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is a representative festival in Seoul, taking place every April. It originally started in 2005, and still attracts many visitors every year, creating a harmonious environment among the Han River, the cherry blossoms and the people. Every year when spring comes with its warmer weather, it is represented by cascades of colourful flowers, with the Han River in the background, along the boulevards of Yeouido in western Seoul. There are 1,641 cherry blossom trees originally from Jeju Island, as well as azalea, forsythia, royal azalea and deutzia trees, in total making 87,859 trees across 13 species. Yeouiseo-ro, the street behind the National Assembly Building, is lined with cherry blossom trees and is the most famous cherry blossom street in Seoul. Visitors can take a stroll along the Han River through a tunnel of these majestic blossom trees.
There are also cultural street performances, a flower decoration exhibit, and a photo exhibit taking place throughout the festival period. During the festival period, the road encircling the Yeouido National Assembly building is closed to traffic, so visitors can come away from the busy traffic and stroll through the tunnel of blossoming cherry trees along the course of the Han River. After sunset, coloured lights illuminate the cherry blossom trees and create a romantic night-time view. Festival events include a selection of street performances and art exhibitions.
- Jecheon Cheongpungho Cherry Blossom Festival:
The Jecheon Cheongpungho Cherry Blossom Festival takes place on the shores of Cheongpungho Lake, an area awash with white cherry blossoms, forsythias, azaleas and many other seasonal wild flowers’ blossoms. Various shows and performances are usually scheduled for this festival, including a cherry blossom street concert and a dance parade. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs from the flea market that takes place during the festival period.
In addition to the amazing natural scenery, visitors to the festival have their pick of a great selection of exhibitions, performances, and bungee jumping and water sports on Cheongpungho Lake. Other nearby tourist attractions include the Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex , SBS Jecheon Film Set, and more.
- The Uiseong Cornelian Cherry Flower Festival:
The Uiseong Cornelian Cherry Flower Festival usually takes place from the end of March to first week of April at the Cornelian Cherry Flower Village in Uiseong, Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang Province). Cornelian cherry flowers are in full blossom in March, covering the surrounding mountains and yards in yellow petals from the blossoms. Throughout the ten-day festival, a variety of events including a ritual wishing for a good harvest, a walkathon along the path lined with cornelian cherries, a climbing competition, cultural performances, and a singing contest etc. are organised.
- Silk Town Mountain Cherry Blossom Festival:
Bogok Village in Gunbuk-myeon, Geumsan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do boasts the largest colony of wild cherry blossoms, spanning over an area of 10,000 ㎡. The area offers an unpolluted region with various blooming flowers such as bridal wreath, bunch berry, weigela, ginger plant, and wild flowers. The relatively low temperatures compared to the flatland cause the blooms to appear later as compared to other places. So it attracts less people than other places where flowers bloom early and contributes to the peaceful and calm ambience of this place. The walking course called Mountain flower (sankkot) sullae-gil is well known as an eco-friendly well-being course that blends well with nature and art.
- Seoul National Cemetery Event with weeping cherry blossoms:
The Seoul National Cemetery hosts a spring event when weeping cherry blossoms, which symbolize “the protection of the nation”, are in full bloom. With the characteristic pink petals and the branches hanging down, the weeping cherry blossoms in the cemetery help to make a fitting ambience for people to pay respect to the souls of all their loved ones and the patriots. The festival is held in every April with varied sightseeing activities to enjoy weeping cherry blossoms fully in its natural glory.
- Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival:
Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is held every spring at Songpa Naru Park, which is a peaceful lake park that surrounds Lotte World. The Seokchon Lake boasts approximately 1,000 mesmerizing cherry blossom trees that form a tunnel of flowers around the lake, creating a fascinating scene in spring. Lotte World’s Magic Island appears to float in the middle of the lake. The festival offers many events which attract tourists every year, and family-fun activities for a perfect day out at Seokchon Lake.
- Jinan Cherry Blossom Festival
- Wangin Cherry Blossom Festival
- Best places to observe cherry blossoms and cherry blossoms paths in South Korea:
- Jinhae - Yeojwacheon Stream: The city of Jinhae comes alive in spring when Jinhae Gunhangjae Festival takes place and approximately 360,000 cherry blossom trees begin to bloom. The entire city is considered one of the top cherry blossom destinations. In particular, an approximately 1.5-kilometer-long section of Yeojwacheon Stream is lined with cherry blossom trees, creating a tunnel of white blossom petals. The sweet scent of canola flowers under the cherry blossom trees, and the ornamental lights decorating the place in the evening, create a romantic ambience for the visitors.
- Yeouido's Yeouiseo-ro Road: Located behind the National Assembly Building in Yeouido, it is one of the most popular destinations for viewing cherry blossoms. Just in time for Yeongdeungpo’s Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, cherry blossoms, which begin to fully bloom in early to mid-April, accented by forsythia and other spring blossoms, transform the road into a snow-white tunnel. Road traffic is restricted in certain areas during the festival, allowing visitors to enjoy the cherry blossoms safely and peacefully.
- Hadong - Ssangyesa Temple Simni Cherry Blossom Road: The Simni (10ri) Cherry Blossom Road, also known as the ‘marriage road’ is a 6-kilometer road that stretches from Hwagae Market to Ssanggyesa Temple in Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do. Both sides of the road get adorned by the beautiful pink and white cherry blossom trees in full bloom and soft scent giving the whole place a magical vibe. The annual Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival takes place around this time when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom, adding a festive feeling to the road.
- Namsan Park Circuit Road: Namsan Park’s circuit road, which connects Namsan Library, Namsan Octagonal Pavilion and the National Theater of Korea in Jangchung-dong, is a beautiful scenic route lined with forsythias, azaleas, and cherry blossoms. It is an great place to observe the cherry blossom trees in their full bloom while continuing with daily life.
- Changgyeonggung Palace: One of the major royal palaces in Seoul, it is a prime spot to view cherry blossoms. The palace creates a gorgeous backdrop for photos made by an assortment of cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, Korean bush cherry, sansuyu (cornus fruit) flowers, apricot blossoms and royal azaleas as they bloom among ancient architecture in the heart of Seoul. From time to time, visitors can spot a fantastic shower of cherry blossom petals raining over Okcheongyo Bridge.
- Seokchon Lake: The Seokchon Lake boasts approximately 1,000 mesmerizing cherry blossom trees that form a tunnel of flowers around the lake, creating a fascinating scene in spring. It serves as a perfect spot for outdoor family activities while watching the cherr blossoms in a picturesque backdrop.
- Ilsan Lake Park: Home to a large number of flowering shrubs and trees, including thousands of cherry blossom trees surrounding the lake, this is another great place for seeing the cherry blossoms in their full glory. After the sun sets, lights strung around the trees create a romantic atmosphere as the cherry blossoms and lights reflect on the lake. Daytime visitors can enjoy a picnic on the large lawn carpeted with soft green grass.
- Jungnangcheon Stream Cherry Blossom: Most cherry blossom attractions in Seoul draw in a huge crowd of people. For people liking a more intimate setting, Jangnangcheon Stream’s cherry blossom road is the perfect spot. The path follows Jangnangcheon Stream and is lined on both sides with forsythia and a cherry blossom tunnel overhead.
- Seoul National Cemetery: The cherry blossoms cultivated at Seoul National Cemetery resemble willow trees with their branches hanging down towards the ground as they age, giving one an image of a waterfall of flowing flowers. It is a great place to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom while enjoying a serene calm ambiance.
- Jeongdok Library: The entire area of Bukchon becomes vibrant every spring, but the sight of the white Jeongdok Library glimpsed through the blooming cherry trees is a special attraction. Large weeping cherry tree following the path to the left of the library can be found. Great cafés lining Samcheongdong-gil Road and the beautiful surrounding can be a great place to unwind and see the cherry blossoms.
- Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail: The Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail stretches nearly 40 kilometers and is lined with cherry blossoms the entire way. The road can be enjoyed by car, bicycle, or even on foot. To see the road in full bloom, it's best time to visit is late March or early April.
- Gyeonghwa Station Cherry Blossom Road: Gyeonghwa Station, is a small railway station in Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do. It is famous for beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. One can walk through the tracks surround by rows of cherry blossom trees, making a tunnel effect filled with flowers. Along with Anmingogae Road and Yeojwacheon Bridge, Gyeonghwa Station is one of the top three cherry blossom photo spots in Jinhae. Every year during Jinhae Gunhang Festival, there is a "cherry blossom festival shuttle train," where one can enjoy the view of lovely flowers in a slow speed train. This area also featured in Korean movies and dramas such as the film “Boy Goes to Heaven (2005)" and the drama “Spring Waltz (2006)."
- Gurye Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail: Stretching over 3 kilometers, the Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Trail in Gurye follows National Roads 17 and 19 along the pristine Seomgjingang River. The trail is lined with cherry blossom trees planted in 1992. As well as being a popular drive course, the trail can also be enjoyed on foot, and is even used as a marathon course. The trail has been received recognition as one of the "100 Most Beautiful Roads in Korea."
- Jangboksan Sculpture Park: Located in Jangboksan Mountain’s pristine nature, the park features many sculptures and other art pieces designed by famous artists. Many people visit in spring to enjoy walks or picnics beneath the blooming cherry blossom trees.
- Jinhae NFRDI Environment Eco-park: Home to gorgeous cherry blossom trees surrounding the park’s tranquil reservoir, this park creates a stunning scene during springtime when cherry blossom petals flutter down, settling upon the reservoir’s clear water. A leisurely stroll along the paths can be enjoyed while enjoy the ambiance created by the blossoms in full bloom.
- Jehwangsan Park: Compared to other places for seeing cherry blossoms, this is a hidden spot, with lesser crowds. Jehwangsan Park boasts a harmony of cherry blossoms and forsythias in full bloom, lining both sides of a 365-step stairway, which is also referred to as “one year stairway.” The trees in full bloom create a fantastic tunnel of pink and white blossoms.
- Bird’s-eye-view of Jinhae from Anmingogae Hill: The path starting from the entrance of Anmingogae Hill to the heliport located at the hill’s peak is the main cherry blossom course, taking about 20 minutes on foot. In particular, the nightscape of Jinhae from the hilltop is famous for its mesmerizing beauty.
- Maisan Provincial Park: Maisan Provincial Park is located in Jinan-gun, Jeollabuk-do. It is very well-known as a leisure retreat. Of the many hiking trails, there is a three kilometre-long cherry blossom tunnel that blooms every year in mid-April. This cherry blossom tunnel serves as the venue for the annual Jinan Cherry Blossom Festival, with exciting performances and beautiful scenery.
- Incheon Jayu Park: Jayu Park is the first Western-style park in Korea, built five years after the opening of Incheon Port. Every April, a cherry blossom festival is held as the cherry blossoms fill the park, attracting many visitors. The panoramic view of the city is breath-taking with nightscape especially popular for couples. There are many attractions nearby for visitors to enjoy food and history.
- Wolmyeong Park: Wolmyeong Park is a popular tourist destination in Gunsan and connects five mountains in the vicinity. The park has 12 kilometers of walking trails, as well as an observatory, sculpture park, various monuments and well-arranged gardens and 30-year old rattan and cherry trees. A cherry blossom photo contest is held in the park every April, when the park is adorned by cherry blossoms.
- Bomunho Lake: Bomunho Lake is a man-made lake built on the site of an old fortress in Myeonghwalsan Mountain in the east of Gyeongju. Gyeongju is packed with cherry blossoms in the blooming season. When spring arrives, the whole cityscape turns pink with the beautiful blossoms. The combination of the stunning trees reflected in the waters of Bomunho Lake and the trees of Bulguksa Park gracefully adorning the nearby temple make for particularly stunning sights. The Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon is held in April when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
- Gongju Donghaksa Temple: Located in the east valley of Gyeryongsan Mountain in Hakbong-ri, Banpo-myeon, Gongju, Donghaksa Temple is the first and the oldest existing academic institute for female monks. In the spring, many visitors come to the temple to see the cherry blossom tunnel, a 3 kilometer pathway from Bakjeongja three-way intersection to Donghaksa Temple. Every year since 1993 the temple has also been the venue of the Donghaksa Spring Flower Festival.
- Yeongam Gurim Hanok Village: Nestled at the foot of Wolchulsan Mountain's western side in Yeongam-gun, Jeollanam-do, Yeongam Gurim Hanok Village has a 2,200 year-long history, stretching from the Three Han States to Proto Three Kingdom Period. The village has a rich cultural and historical value and is a very famous tourist spot. Wangin Cherry Blossom Festival and Chrysanthemum Festival are held here every year.
- Popular Culture in Trend related to Cherry Blossom Festival:
Hanami culture is popular because it signifies spring’s arrival. There are cherry blossom flavoured snacks in all the supermarkets. Popular coffee brands like Starbucks launches festive drinks like Cherry blossom latte, ruby chocolate, cherry blossom frappuccino, and ruby chocolate latte etc. The drinks have a cherry tree pattern made of ruby chocolate pieces and chocolate sauce. Customers can also find Starbucks Korea Spring Limited Edition collection. Starbucks came out with a whole line of reusable mugs, cups, and tumblers that are inspired by cherry blossom season and the collection is absolutely beautiful.
Famous skincare and beauty product companies like Innisfree and Etude house come up with whole range of Cherry blossom special products which gets sold out with wide numbers. Etude House blossom picnic collection with Lip lacquer and Air mousse are the famous of this range. Innisfree Jeju cherry blossom mist, toner, jelly cream and cleanser have been popular worldwide.
Korea Meteorological Administration usually declares the arrival of spring in early March of when and where this flowers will be bloomed to the fullest. Once people find these to bloom, they celebrate this festival for number of days. City of Gyeongju is famous for hosting the Cherry blossom marathon. Other than this, there are parties, concerts and picnics everywhere around the country.
- Climate change effect on Cherry Blossom:
Due to climate change, cherry blossom are blooming faster this year. In Seoul, as observed on 2021, cherry blossoms were bloomed the fastest since in recent times. This is the fastest season to bloom for cherry blossoms in Seoul Metropolitan since an observation began in 1922. In 2021, cherry blossom bloomed three days earlier than last year and 17 days earlier than the average year. Cherry blossoms usually start to bloom in early April here in Korea.
The Yeongdeungpo-gu district in Seoul had to advance the traffic control around the National Assembly due to the early bloom season this year.
According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, February and March of this year showed a temperature of 2.7 degrees and 8.3 degrees, respectively. These temperatures are respectively 2.3 degrees and 3.2 degrees higher than normal, being an area of concern among environmental specialists across the country.
- Effect of Covid-19 on 2020-21 Cherry Blossom Festival:
This year, famous places to enjoy cherry blossom in Seoul was closed, as government was putting rules to decrease social and public gatherings to reduce Covid-19 infections. Cherry blossom being the famous festival attracts many tourists and people who are out for picnic and party. Government put up strict measurements to lessen the crowd due to the anticipation of corona virus infection.
Temporary traffic control has been arranged in parts of Yeouido, which comes off as one of the most popular among the cherry blossom streets with the famous 1.7 km long flower road. This measure was also taken on 2020 for the same fear of covid-19 transmission among public and tourists.
1. Topic: Gae-tteok (개떡)
2. Writer: West Bengal Team 4: Members- (Ankita, Rajanya, Saheli)
Gae-tteok (개떡) is the traditional rice cake variant and a famous cuisine of Korea. Tteok (떡) is a dish made by steaming, frying, or boiling rice powder or other grain powder after it has been sprinkled with water. It is served at ceremonies and holidays without fail. Gae-tteok is an easy to make rice cake, made with fragrant green herbs. It is more rustic than fancy and more aromatic than sweet in taste.
- Origin :
There are three types of rice cakes can be found: Steamed rice cake, ground rice cake and boiled rice cakes. Among these, Gae- tteok is the part of the steamed rice cake family. Gae-tteok also referred as Ssuk Gae-tteok (쑥 개떡) is a type of Korean rice cake added with the main ingredient Mugwort (ssuk (쑥) in Korean. In English Mugwort is called Artemisia Princeps, an Asian plant species in the sunflower family which is native to China and Korea. It can be seen that it was used as one of the famine food as well.
- History of Ssuk Gae-tteok (쑥 개떡):
As spring represents rebirth and new beginnings, Koreans find themselves in its prime time to enjoy a traditional treat made with mugwort, an herb that historically heralded spring’s arrival, has a pungent aroma, and has long been known for its health benefits. In fact, the legend of Korea’s founding way back in 2333 BCE includes a reference to mugwort. Among some significant Guhwang food, Gae-tteok is one. Kneaded grain flour and mugwort is used to steam or bake this Gae-tteok. In a book called “Joseon Warriors Shinsik Recipe” (1936) and in another book called “Joseon Cuisine (1940)”, we can see that Gae-tteok is mentioned back then. The idea of grinding buckwheat and let the powder collected, grinding the rest, and then to add Mugwort and kneading it in water to give it the round shape is mentioned there. Green beans, Sorghum flour, soybean, wheat flour and salt are mainly used to make this delicacy during the spring season. It was a countryside rice cake which people enjoyed as a snack in old times. When cooking soup or rice, it can be steamed and eaten it with oil.
- Procedures :
Procedure to cook this delicacy can be very simple. It can be often cooked in a small amount put them in microwave oven to steam for 2 – 3 minutes. In case it needs to be cooked a large amount, these can be put into a steamer or rice cooker for 15 – 20 minutes. The specific time may vary depending on the cooking conditions. After cooking, a small amount of sesame oil can be added on the rice cake to enjoy chewy texture better while preventing them from being too sticky. Ssuk Gae-tteok also tastes good when roasted to enjoy as a snack to munch on.
300g white (non-sticky) rice
A few pinches of salt
100g blanched and squeezed ssuk (mugwort)
50cc boiling hot water
1 cup of water + 1 tbsp sesame oil for coating
- Preparation :
Soak rice in cold or lukewarm water for at least 5–6 hours. Put it on a wicker tray or strainer and let it drain completely over several hours. Mix with salt and grind in a food processor until you get a fine powder.
You can also grind the blanched ssuk with the rice in the food processor (many Koreans do this at their local mill), but if you want a more rustic texture with lots of ssuk fibers and juice, then you can pound the ssuk with a mortar and pestle and add it to the rice flour.
Gradually add hot water to the dough, checking the texture as you go along. Be careful not to burn your hands—try to cool it down with a spatula as you mix. Depending on the the dryness of the flour and the moisture content of the blanched ssuk, the amount of water will vary. The dough should feel about as moist as Play-Doh.
Line the basket with cheesecloth, and bring the steamer to a boil. While it’s heating, shape the dough into small, flat circles a little smaller than your palm. Arrange the circles on the cheesecloth and cover with the lid.
When the tteok goes from pale green to shiny vivid green (about 15 minutes), turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the steamer and quickly dip into the water-oil mixture.
This rice cake gets a lot chewier as it cools, so serve when it’s just cooled.
- Nutrient :
Mugwort is a Spring herb which are particularly fragrant, in addition to its herbal scent, it has a slightly rough texture thanks to the fibers of the mugwort leaves, also most spring greens are rich in vitamin C and high in protein, calcium, iron, and other minerals, so they are suitable for replenishing nutrients. All these properties make Gae-tteok/Ssuk Gae-tteok a perfect food that can help you enjoy spring in Korea. The dough is manually kneaded once more to enhance chewy texture of quality rice cake. It is recommended as breakfast alternatives or snacks for children for its rich nutrition.
As an accompaniment to the herbal aroma of Mugwort rice cake (Ssuk Gaetteok), the beverage traditionally enjoyed alongside it is also one tied closely with spring, which is the newly harvested green tea or nokcha.
Topic: Yukgeori Market
Writer: West Bengal Team 2 - Tanurima Chanda
Short Explanation: This article is about the Yukgeori market which is the representative traditional market of Cheongju, Chungbuk, South Korea. The article discusses the market's history, etymology, products, revitalization, awards and recognition.