April 5, 2023

Chongmyong which falls on April 4 or 5 every year means the beginning of fine weather.

Chongmyong, the seasonal division when the weather is the brightest and finest weather in the whole year, is closely related to the life of the Koreans. Regarding farming as the basis of everything, they soaked rice seeds in water before sowing them on seedbeds before the day and usually began spring sowing that day.

Historical classic Tongguksesigi says, “Farming families begin spring ploughing on Chongmyong.”

About that time, farmers sowed seeds of field crops such as foxtail millet, sorghum, millet, bean and red bean and those of vegetables like pumpkin, radish, pepper and Welsh onion. And they planted seeds of such flowers as balsam and common zinnia on gardens.

It was an ancestral custom of the Korean people to visit their ancestral graves on mountains in national costume on Chongmyong. They tended the graves sincerely by covering them with turf and reinforcing their mounds which were lowered through the winter and paid tribute to the ancestors.

When the removal of graves was required, they moved them that day. This was called chonmyo or ijang. They removed graves elsewhere on the day, because the rooting rate of turf to be covered over the mounds is high and the soil is appropriate for covering the mounds with earth and removing the graves as it is after the thaw.

This custom is still carried on.

Kye Sung Mu, researcher of the Folklore Research Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences


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