agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), today announced deals in South Korea just in time for Chuseok.
Chuseok is the country's biggest holiday, a time when Koreans reunite with family to celebrate a bountiful harvest and to pay respect to elders and ancestors. Falling on September 30 this year, the long weekend presents a great opportunity for all Koreans to take a break from work and spend quality time with loved ones.
As with any major holiday, Chuseok involves a lot of hard work and preparation. In the lead-up, traditional foods and outfits must be bought and special dishes cooked. Most families also visit their ancestors' graves for the practice of BeolCho – cleaning the tomb and removing any weeds that may have grown over the summer time. Once the grave is neat, the ritual of SeongMyo takes place, with prayers and gifts of food and drink offered to ancestors.
Chuseok day itself begins with charye – the offering of specially prepared foods and drinks to ancestors. After donning traditional outfits, families set the table for charye, a meticulous process that involves laying out fruits, meats and alcohol in a specific order, each plate with a designated position on the table. Once the food has been offered to the departed and all rites have been observed, it's time to relax and enjoy all those delicious plates prepared for the occasion.
One dish synonymous with Chuseok is songpyeon. These delicious crescent-shaped sweets are made from freshly harvested rice and filled with red bean paste, nuts, sugar and sesame. Songpyeon are steamed with pine needles to make them fragrant, and in the spirit of tradition, prepared by the matriarch of the family and her married daughters.
True to its origins as a harvest festival, fresh crops and domestic produce come to the fore at Chuseok. Made from thinly shredded vegetables and sweet potato noodles, japchae makes use of the season's onion, carrots, mushrooms and spinach. The barbecued dish of bulgogi, made with beef, chicken or pork, showcases the Korean technique of grilling meat on a griddle over an open flame – a method now famous around the world. For wine, baekju – made from local grapes – and rice wine traditionally accompany meals.
Koreans intending to travel for Chuseok face one of the country's largest annual migrations and should plan their trip as soon as possible. Those visiting family in the capital should book accommodation now – Agoda.com has secured some fantastic hotel rates in Seoul at Chuseok – details and promotions listed below.
agoda.com South Korea Chuseok 2012 hotel deals!
Best Western Premier Gangnam Hotel – 20% discount!
From USD 113 per night. Minimum stay 2 nights.
Daelim Residence – up to 25% discount!
From USD 66 per night. Stay 1 night and get 15% discount. Stay 2 nights and get 25% discount.
Goodstay Nobless Yeoksam Hotel – 15% discount!
From USD 51 per night.
Provista Hotel Gangnam – up to 35% discount!
From USD 101 per night. Stay 1 night for 30% discount. Stay 3 nights or more for 35% discount.
Royal Hotel – up to 50% off!
From USD 151 per night. Stay 1 night for 15% discount. Stay 2-3 nights for 20% discount. Stay 4 nights or more and enjoy 50% discount.
Somerset Palace Seoul Residence – up to 50% discount!
From USD 140 per night. Stay 1 night for 15% discount. Stay 2-3 nights for 20% discount. Stay 4 nights or more and enjoy 50% discount. Rates are non-refundable.
Fraser Suites Insadong Seoul Residence – up to 20% discount!
From USD 220 per night. Stay 3 nights and enjoy 10% discount. Stay 4 nights for 15% discount. Stay 5 nights or more for 20% discount. Rates are non-refundable.
The Shilla Seoul – up to 20% discount!
From USD 203 per night. Stay 1 night for 15% discount. Stay 2-3 nights for 20% discount.
The Westin Chosun – up to 45% discount!
From USD 185 per night. Enjoy 25% discount for a standard room. Enjoy 45% discount on a Junior Suites Double room.
Vabien Suite2 Residence – up to 30% discount!
From USD 108 per night. Stay 1 night for 25% discount. Stay 3 nights or more and enjoy 30% discount.