Jungyangjeol / Junggu is the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. It’s considered a day of full positive energy (Yang) & lucky day as it’s believed if the number of lunar month & the day are odd. The origin of the festival dates back to Shila Dynasty.
Since Jungyangjeol associated with “Yang “energy, traditionally people used to celebrate the festival while climbing high mountains, holding a pouch filled of Korean evodia blossom and drink chrysanthemum wine.
Lately people go for picnic in mountains area with their families & friends to enjoy the day together while viewing beautiful scenery with colourful autumn leaves.
Jungyangjeol considered as the last festival to enjoy autumn after Chuseok and the final part of harvest season it was also considered as second chance in addition to Chuseok for offering newly harvest crops to ancestors’ spirit as crops were not ripe enough for Chuseok memorial service. It was considered as sacred day, there was no criminal punishment or execution on that day.
Jungyangjeol falls on the chrysanthemum blossom season, many of the festival customs are related to chrysanthemum so people drink chrysanthemums wine, eat chrysanthemums pancakes.
The customs divided into 3 sections
1. Climbing high mountains (등고, Deunggo): people climb the highest mountain near to them to be as close as possible to the sun which is the source of Positive energy to help them be healthy all year round.
2. Eating chrysanthemums pancakes (국화전) & drinking chrysanthemums wine ( (국화주): to prevents aging and cleanse the blood.
3. Holding a bag filled with evodia blossoms (수유 주머니) : to get rid of bad luck.
Nowadays, Korean people don’t celebrate this festival anymore as it’s not a national holiday and many people don’t know about it.