제사 The Commemorative Ceremony

The commemorative ceremony is one of the most important rites for Korean family.  It usually takes 30 mins to an hour, but it depends on family members.

<The order of the ceremonial food>
img from : http://www.naver.com

We prepare the best food for them because we believe that spirits really come to have the food.  There are usually apples, pears, meat, soup, rice, fish, chestnuts and jujubes etc, but it depends on family.  One of the funny thing is that after the ceremony, we take a little of every food and take them outside for stranger spirits(??) who don’t have family to have a ceremony for them.  Traditionally only men can perform the commemorative ceremony, but my family women also join the ceremony.

There are three kinds of the ceremony.

1. 제사[Jesa] is usually for dead people who were in your family such as great grand parents, grand parents, parents or brother and sister. It is held every year at night on the day when they died, so it is particularly for a person.  My family have four ceremonies per year for my great grand parents and grand parents.

2. 차례[Chare] is for ancestors including family members who died, but it is held in the early morning on Seollal and Choosuk which are New year’s day(January 1st of the Lunar Calendar) and Thanksgiving day(August 15th of the Lunar Calendar).  This is for thanking to ancestors to let us have a great year and for hoping that they take care of us.  The food will be similar to 제사, however we put ‘떡국(rice cake soup)’ on Seollal.



3. 고사[Gosa] is held on the day when people start their business, when they move to a new house, when they buy a new car or when farmers start harvesting.  It can be held in the morning, afternoon or night.  The food is mostly the same as other ceremony, but there is one more thing which is “PIG HEAD”.  In Korea, pigs mean ‘fortune’ or ‘wealth’, so people put a pig head as a sacrificial offering to hope that ancestors protect them from the bad luck and the evil spirit.

mg from : http://blog.naver.com/jnjshop/30154191034

Korean Holidays

2016 holidays in Korea


Koreans still use Sun calendar and Lunar calendar. Most Korean holidays are on the Sun calendar, however we(Koreans) still celebrate the two biggest holidays(Seollal and Chuseok) with the Lunar calendar.  Because these days are a day off or a few days off at work and school, so we call them ‘공휴일(day off)’ and ‘연휴(a few days off)’.

Here are a list of holidays and what we do on those days.

1/1 설날 (양력설  New year’s day on the Solar calendar) – We eat 떡국(rice cake soup) and celebrate a new year.

2/7~2/10설날(음력설 New year’s day on the Lunar calendar) – It is the biggest holiday!!! It is January 1st on the Lunar calendar, so the date changes every year on the Solar calendar. People go to their hometown and meet their parents and families on this day. A day before 설날, we get together to prepare food for the early morning ceremony on 설날, which is for our ancestors. We eat 떡국(rice cake soup) after the ceremony and we play traditional games like 윷놀이(four sticks). For more information about 설날, click here.

3/1  삼일절 (Independent movement day) – It occurred on March 1st in 1919 during the Japanese colonial occupation period. On this day, there are lots of places have reenactment performances. You can learn more about 삼일절 through this website.

5/5 어린이날 (Children’s day) – Kids love it, parents hate it. 🙂 A lot of people go to amusement parks or go on a picnic on this day.

5/14 석가탄신일 (Buddha’s birthday) – It is April 8th on the Lunar calendar, so the date changes every year. Buddhism is one of the biggest religions in Korea. Buddhists go to a temple to celebrate Buddha’s birthday.

6/6 현충일 (Memorial day) – It is the day to commemorate people who fought for Korea. The government holds a ceremony at the National Cemetery in Seoul.

8/15 광복절 (Independence day) – It is the day that we found our freedom back from Japanese colonial rule.

9/14~9/16 추석(Chuseok, Full moon holiday) – It is August 15th on the Lunar calendar, so the date changes every year. Chuseok is the second biggest holiday for Koreans. We go to our parents house to celebrate it and eat a lot of food. The day before Chuseok, families get together to prepare food for a morning ceremony on Chuseok. Food for Chuseok, 송편(pine tree flavor rice cake) is the most famous food for this day.

10/3 개천절 (National Foundation Day) – National Foundation day is celebrating for the day that Dan-goon Jo-seon is established for 4348 years ago.

10/9 한글날 (Hangeul Day) – It is the day to celebrate Hangeul that was created by Sejong the Great in 1443.

12/25 크리스마스 (Christmas) – A lot of people celebrate Christmas even though they are not Christians. Koreans somehow celebrate it as Valentine’s day, so a lot of couples eat out on this day. Some restaurants change their prices twice as much as original prices. Streets are full of people who hang out with their friends. It is fun, but I don’t recommend you to go to a busy street because there are lots of people who are drunk.


Some holidays are not a day off, but very important for us, which are

5/8 어버이 날 (Parents day) – It is the day to appreciate our parents. On this day, we send carnations and gifts to our parents or eat a nice meal with them.

5/15 스승의 날 (Teacher’s day) – We express appreciation to our teachers on this day by sending cards and gifts to our teachers. 스승 is formal word for teacher.


* 설날 Seollal (lunar calendar), 추석(Chuseok) and 석가탄신일(Buddha’s birthday) change every year because it is on the lunar calendar.


* My favorite holiday is Seollal and Chooseok because there are lots of food and we can take three days off to see our family and friends!


[Voca] 하고 vs 그리고 : and

-하고 vs 그리고 : and


-하고 and 그리고 both mean ‘and’ in Korean, however -하고 occurs between two nouns and 그리고 takes place between two sentences. Here are few examples that you can practice.


  •  Noun+하고 : ‘and(between nouns)’, ‘with someone’


가방하고 티셔츠를 샀어요.
I bought a bag and a T shirt.
김밥하고 불고기(를) 주세요.
Please give me Kimbap and Bulgogi.
친구하고 같이 영화를 봐요.
I am watching a movie with my friend.
하고 같이 살아요.
I live with my brother.


* -와/과 is the same as ‘-하고’, but -와/과 is the formal way.  Thus, when you write something or have a meeting, you should use -와/과 instead of -하고.

Noun(consonant) + 과
Noun(vowel) + 와


* -(이)랑 is also the same as ‘-하고’, however this is used in a very informal conversation such as friends or family.  You shouldn’t use this in a formal conversation.

Noun(consonant) + 이랑
Noun(vowel) + 랑


  • 그리고 : ‘and(between sentences)’, ‘and then’


이 가방은 참 예뻐요. 그리고 가벼워요.
This bag is very pretty, and it is light.
저는 사과를 좋아해요. 그리고 배도 좋아해요.
I like apples, and I also like pears.
도서관에 가요. 그리고 친구를 만나요.
I am going to the library, and then I will meet my friend.
친구를 만날 거예요. 그리고 같이 영화 볼 거예요.
I am going to meet my friend, and then we will watch a movie together.

You can also listen to the pronunciation here.

[Expression] 무슨 요일이에요? What day is it?

오늘무슨 요일이에요?
What day is it today?


A : 오늘이 무슨 요일이에요?  What day is it today?

B: 월요일이에요. It is Monday.


Tip>> You don’t need to repeat ‘오늘(today)’ because it is repeated. We don’t normally say the subject that is repeated.



오늘 : today

무슨 : what kind of

요일 : day

무슨 요일 : what day, which day of the week

이에요? : is

월요일[워료일] : Monday

화요일 : Tuesday

수요일 : Wednesday

목요일[모교일] : Thursday

금요일[그묘일] : Friday

토요일 : Saturday

일요일[이료일] : Sunday

You can also listen to the pronunciation here.

[Hangeul] Pronunciation change 3

This pronunciation change is about ‘ㅎ’.  In Korean, there are lots of changes with this letter ‘ㅎ’. When ‘ㅎ’ meets ‘ㅅ’, the pronunciation changes to ‘ㅆ’.  And when ‘ㅎ’ meets ‘ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ’, the pronunciations change to ‘ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅊ’ .


1. ㅎ(final consonant) + ㅅ => ㅆ



2. ㅎ(final consonant) + ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ => ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅊ


3. ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅂ,ㅈ(final consonant) + ㅎ =>ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅊ




You can listen to the pronunciation here.


[Expression] A 말고 B : not A but B

 A 말고 B means ‘not A but B’, ‘except for A’ or ‘B instead of A’ in English.
You can use this with nouns or verbs. Let’s look at nouns first.

noun(A) 말고 noun(B)

이거 말고 저거 주세요.
Give me that one, not this one.
우리 커피 말고 차 마셔요.
Let’s drink tea instead of coffee.
그 사람 말고 민수 씨하고 가고 싶어요.
I want to go with Minsu instead of that guy.
말고 다른 사람한테 얘기하지 마세요.
Don’t tell anyone but me.
이 색깔 말고 다른 색은 없어요?
Do you have other colors except for this color?


If you want to use this with verbs, you should put ‘-지’ in front of ‘말고’

Verb-지 말고 Verb

지 말고 공부해.
Don’t play, study!
거기 가지 말고 같이 영화 봐요.
Don’t go there, let’s watch a movie.
회사 가지 말고 저하고 같이 놀러 가요.
Don’t go to work, let’s hang out with me.
너무 슬퍼하지 말고 힘내세요.
Please don’t be sad, cheer up!
영어로 이야기하지 말고 한국어로 이야기하세요.
Don’t speak in English, speak in Korean.


[Grammar] 위,아래, 앞, 뒤 : Location nouns

Location nouns


We are going to learn location nouns in this post.  You can put these location nouns into ‘-이/가 -에 있어요/없어요 (~ is at/in somewhere) in the previous post(click).  Let’s look at the table below to learn location nouns.

책상 위 on the desk
under, bottom
책상 아래 under the desk
책상 앞 in front of the desk
back, behind
책상 뒤 behind the desk
next to
책상 옆 next to the desk
to the left of ~
책상 왼쪽 to the left of the desk
to the right of~
책상 오른쪽 to the right of desk
inside the ~
집 안 inside the house
outside of the~
집 밖 outside of the house
A하고 B 사이
between A and B
책상하고 의자 사이 between the desk and the chair


You can make it into a question with the question noun “어디” which means “where” instead of the noun in “Location noun+에“.


시계가 책상 에 있어요.
The clock is on the desk.
시계가 책상 아래에 있어요.
The clock is under the desk.
시계가 책상 에 있어요.
The clock is in front of the desk.
시계가 책상 에 있어요.
The clock is behind the desk.
시계가 책상에 있어요.
The clock is next to the desk.
시계가 책상 왼쪽에 있어요.
The clock is to the left of the desk.
시계가 책상 오른쪽에 있어요.
The clock is to the right of the desk.
고양이가 집 에 있어요.
The cat is inside the house.
고양이가 집에 있어요.
The cat is outside of the house.
고양이가 책상하고 의자 사이에 있어요.
The cat is between the desk and the chair.
선생님이 어디에 있어요?
Where is the teacher?
화장실이 어디에 있어요?
Where is the bathroom?

You can listen to the pronunciation here.

Practice1>> Tranlate it to English.

1) 돈이 가방에 없어요.

2) 컴퓨터가 집에 없어요.

3) 시계가 책상 위에 있어요.

4) 사과가 냉장고 안에 있어요.

5) 학교가 어디에 있어요?

6) 선생님이 어디에 있어요?


Practice2>>Translate it to Korean.

1) Where is your house?

2) The book is on the top of the desk.

3) My friend is not in America.

4) Where is the school?

5) The pen is under the book.

6) Is the cell phone in the bag?


If you know the answer, please leave a reply under this post. I will post the answer next weekend!

[Grammar] -에서 Place particle

-에서 Place particle


We have learned the place particle -에 in the previous post(click), -에 is a place particle which means ‘existence(-에 있어요/없어요)’ or ‘direction(-에 가요/와요)’.

-에서 is also a place particle, but this is for an action, such as “I work at home”, “I study at the library” or “I eat lunch at a restaurant”.  In those sentences, ‘work’, ‘study’ and ‘eat’ have actions, you “do” something.  Let’s look at sentences below.

에서 텔레비전을 봐요.(보다:watch)
I am watching TV at home.
학교에서 공부해요.(공부하다:study)
I am studying at my school.
회사에서 일해요.(일하다:work)
I am working at my company.
도서관에서 책을 읽어요.(읽다:read)
I am reading books at the library.
커피숍에서 친구를 만나요.(만나다:meet)
I am meeting my friend at the coffee shop.
극장에서 영화를 봐요.(보다:watch)
I am watching a movie at the theater.
백화점에서 신발을 사요.(사다:buy)
I am buying shoes at the department store.
친구 집에서 컴퓨터 게임해요.(게임하다:play a game)
I am playing a computer game at my friend’s home.

You can also listen to the pronunciation here.

As I said earlier, you can’t use -에 with an action verb, so you can’t say “집에 텔레비전을 봐요(X)” or “학교에 공부해요(X)”.  This is easy grammar, right? 🙂

[Song] 곰 세 마리 Three bears

곰 세 마리 Three Bears


Watch this video first!




곰 세 마리가 한 집에 있어  Three bears live at a house

아빠 곰, 엄마 곰, 애기 곰  Daddy bear, mommy bear, baby bear

아빠 곰은 뚱뚱해  The daddy bear is fat

엄마 곰은 날씬해   The mommy bear is slim

애기 곰은 너무 귀여워  The baby bear is so cute!

으쓱으쓱 잘한다.  (The baby is dancing) Good job!




곰 : bear

: three

마리 : counting word for animals

: one

: house

에 있어 : ~ is at some place. 

아빠 : dad

엄마 : mom

애기 : baby (아기 is the standard, but a lot of people say 애기) 

뚱뚱해 : fat

날씬해 : slim

너무 : too much, a lot

귀여워 : cute

으쓱으쓱 : move shoulders like dancing movement

잘한다 : good job