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The reason why Koreans turn to nuts during "Great Full Moon"
Twitter Exposure 390 | Facebook Impressions 243 | 2014.02.13 14:18

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[Photo: Flickr]

Tomorrow, Feb 14, is the annual "Great Full Moon" day. Based on lunar calendar, it is when the full moon is supposed to be the roundest all year.

To celebrate this special day, there are a couple of traditions which Koreans faithfully observe--besides going outside at night and staring up at the huge moon slack-jawed like a wolfman.

One is that they eat what is called the "ogokbab (or five gokbab)," consisting of--you guessed it--five different kinds grain. 

The other is that they stuff themselves silly with all kinds of nuts, from pine nuts to walnuts to peanuts to even gingko tree nuts . 

And of course, no one knows for sure where this tradition stems from, but the one that has the most coinage is that because people had to go without a lot of vegetables and fruit during winter, main source of vitamins in the olden days, people resorted to making up the deficiency with the nuts early in the year.

These days with hot houses constantly in operation, we get to eat the sweetest strawberries in the winter, juicy watermelons in the spring and soft persimmons in the summer, but this was not an option for our forebears.

So if, for some reason, you end up in a place where vegetables and fruit are rare around this time of the year, go and get yourself some nuts and fill up on much needed vitamin and minerals.

[Ogokbab=Image National Folk Museum]
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