Chuseok is quite literally the Thanksgiving of Korean holidays. It's a yearly, three-day harvest festival meets day-of-the-dead holiday, where the imperatives are to eat a lot and honor your deceased ancestors.
During the last Chuseok I was in Korea, I watched the women in my family gather to make mass quanities of jeon (pretty much anything egg-battered, but most commonly sausage or fish patties, zucchini or sweet potato rounds, and my all-time fave: Spam), while the men opened bottles of soju and set up an incense altar to my grandfather, who had passed a few years back. Meanwhile, my grandmother force fed me songpyeon (brightly-colored little rice cakes filled with sesame seeds and honey, then steamed on a layer of pine needles) by the trayful until I passed out in a food coma, only to be offered more when I woke up.
This year, with a few Korean family & friends nearby and many more American ones, I hosted a traditional Chuseok, with the works. Read more about this party on VICE: Learning to Make the Food of Chuseok, Korea's Version of Thanksgiving
Spam, Perilla-wrapped Spam, Zucchini Rounds
Kimchi & Scallion Pajeon
Mung Bean Pancake
Cross-cut marinated short rib
Marinated Pork Bulgogi Skewers
Soy Quail Eggs
Thinly Shaved Scallions tossed in Sesame Oil & Gochugaru
Soy Glazed Lotus Root
Assorted Fresh Fruit
Korean Pear, Concord Grapes, Chamwe (Korean Melon), Dried Dates