Photo: President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) and First Lady Kim Geon-hee in traditional garbs for their Chuseok message. Credit: Office of the President.
For Koreans, Chuseok 추석 has long ranked alongside the lunar new year as one of the two most significant holidays, typically marked with a rush to buy train tickets and massive traffic jams as people leave the cities for their hometowns. Chuseok, usually a three-day holiday, is considered a “golden holiday 황금연휴” this year, as the holiday began on Thursday, September 28 and continued for six days until Foundation Day 개천절 on October 3.
But this year, fewer Koreans are electing to travel home. In a poll by PMI, 51.2% said they had no plans to travel home. Even fewer Koreans traveled home for Chuseok than did for this year’s lunar new year: 50.6% said they plan to travel home for the upcoming lunar new year, but only 48.8% said they would do the same for Chuseok this year. Among respondents opting to stay home for the holiday, 76.2% said they would stay in to watch television or catch up on housework.