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An Unusual Thanksgiving

SPAM, the Precious Gift…


The search for Thanksgiving brought many a depressing discovery. Compelled to abort several viable routes finding them peppered with violence, poverty, mourning, and a coup.


Decided on a refreshing look at Thanksgiving from a place I’ve never visited. Abundant with a fascinating culture and traditions that made me smile.


South Korea has a Thanksgiving they call Chuseok, which translates as ‘Autumn Eve’. Each year, they change the dates to fall in line with the lunar year. 2022 it was September 10th. September 29th in 2023, September 17th in 2024, and October 6th in 2025. That will keep you on your toes if you plan to participate.


A three-day harvest festival. Celebrating their culture and traditions. A special day in the celebration to honor their ancestors by visiting their graves and conducting a ceremony called Charye.


Gift giving is prevalent during Chuseok. One has to be careful with this tricky task. The wrong gift is worse that no gift.


A gift set of 4 mugs, napkins, or whatever else is normal to see in 4’s symbolizes death.


Don’t give expensive gifts or the person will feel obligated to do likewise.


Never give knives or scissors. Well, unless you want to cut off relationships with the recipient forever.


Headwear gifts of green will offend. The belief is anyone wearing a green hat has a cheating spouse at home. Hmm, that could cause a stir.


Love my red pens for Christmas greetings. Not in South Korea. It’s a bad omen. Never write someone’s name with red ink, it symbolizes death. The repercussions might get ugly.


They welcome the gift of food. The shops will have many appropriate items on display for gift giving. Fruits, rice cakes, Korean Beef, or seafood many in elaborate gift baskets.


Spam, that crazy meat in a can. You can’t go wrong with gifting a can of Spam. It became popular by American soldiers stationed there in 1980. Considered as a special luxury item and a staple of the Korean diet.


I like Spam, but not sure of getting it as a gift. No plans of it being on my table for Thanksgiving this year. Although, if you bring a can of Spam in hand, I will invite you to stay for dinner.





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