Chuseok (known also as Korean Thanksgiving) is upon us, this year from September 30th until October 9th. Chuseok (추석) is a ten day holiday and giant harvest festival in Korea to celebrate the eve of Autumn, either shortly before or after the Autumnal equinox. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. This year, the full moon lands on the 4th of October. UKP has posted some Chuseok related recipes in the past — probably the most well known Chuseok food is Songpyeon, but there are many other wonderful and culturally rich foods that are eaten with and offered to ancestors on this ritualistic holiday.
Today, I’m writing about the tasty no bake sweet Yul-lan (율란) or chestnut cookies! They are in the broader category known as Suksil-gwa (숙실과) which means “cooked fruit” and are part of an even broader category called Hangwa (한과) which is a general term for traditional Korean confections. Hangwa are prevalent during Chuseok as they are traditional and respectful to offer to your ancestors. Like most traditional foods, Yul-lan were once only eaten by royalty, but are now shared with everyone for special events and whenever chestnuts are in season!
This adorable cookie is made from boiling and mashing chestnut filling to mold into chestnut shaped cookies and decorating the tops with different powders and nuts to finish off the cute and delicious appearance.
Check out Maangchi’s video on Yul-lan!
Will you be trying out this recipe for Yul-lan this Autumn? Or have you had Yul-lan before?
Happy Chuseok, everyone! If you’re travelling to visit family or hometowns, safe travels! Or if you’re just admiring the holiday and culture from home, I hope this Korean Thanksgiving finds you well!