Preparing traditional 'Charye' tables for Lunar New Year Holiday
Updated: 2021-02-12 09:41:01 KST
Koreans honor their ancestors over Sellal by preparing a table of food, known as a 'Charye' .
Let's take a closer look at how it should be set, and the changes made to make the tradition easier to follow, courtesy of our culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung.
On Korea's Lunar New Year Holiday or 'Seollal' in Korean, people pay respects to their household's ancestors by preparing traditional 'Charye' tables.
Colorful fruits, delicious meat and fish are placed on the table for ancestors' spirits to enjoy.
Traditional 'Charye' tables vary by household, but people in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do Province usually prepare the food according to the book 'Zhu Xi's Family Rituals'.
There are several rules to follow, such as having jujubes, chestnuts, pears and dried persimmons placed from left to right.
Fish should be at the table's east, with their heads facing east while meat should be at the table's west.
And given that our ancestor's ghosts are coming, there's also an ingredient we shouldn't use.
"For ancestral rites such as preparing 'Charye' at 'Seollal' or 'Chuseok', it's best not to use ingredients that have strong scents such as green onions or garlic. Otherwise this could prevent the ghosts from coming."
As a ban on gatherings of five or more people is in place for this 'Seollal', it will be difficult for people to visit other family members.
For them to easily prepare the 'Charye' tables, Korea House a cultural space presenting traditional Korean food and culture came up with a special Seollal Charye package.
"It will be hard for family members to prepare foods as they cannot gather together face-to-face due to the pandemic. For them, we have come up with a Charye food package for four members to perform the ancestral rituals easily."
Using environment-friendly wrapping paper that is resistant to water and oil, these packages are helping people honor their ancestors without spending hours preparing food.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.