How much will you spend for a Chuseok gift?

Chuseok this year falls on September 12th. Our Chuseok holiday starts on September 11th (Sunday) and ends on September 13th. Short, isn’t it? I’m okay whether we have a long or short Chuseok since we don’t need to travel to the province anymore.
So have you shopped for Chuseok gift? My husband’s family doesn’t have a gift-giving tradition on Chuseok, but we still receive presents from our companies, banks, and a few relatives. Most of the time, we would receive towels, socks (!), toiletries, alcoholic beverage, ginseng tonic, kim or seaweed, fruits, canned goods and even cooking oil. I never had to buy towels and toiletries!
Anyway, if you visit a supermarket in Korea during the Chuseok season you’ll find salesladies in their beautiful hanbok selling Chuseok gift sets. They also offer sale like if you buy 9 sets you could get an additional set for free ;p
How much are people willing to pay for a Chuseok gift? We saw this set of “kul-bi” or dried yellow corvina at a supermarket last night.

5 pieces of dried yellow corvina from Jeju-do
5 pieces of dried yellow corvina from Jeju-do

We were shocked to see its price: 5 pieces for 499,000 won (467 USD or 19,736 PHP) or almost 100,000 won (93 USD or 3,953 PHP) a piece. “Kul-bi” is delicacy in South Korea and they also make prized Chuseok gifts, but 499,000 won for five pieces of fish? Whoa!
Some would say that it’s always the thought that counts when receiving or giving gifts. Here, it’s not always true ;p
Do watch out for my Chuseok gift give-away coming this week!


  1. Interesting post. I’ve always been interested about other Asian countries’ culture such as Korea and Japan. Chuseok is similar to the Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival celebrated by the Chinese. It’s on Sept. 12, too. I’m a Chinese living in the Philippines. We’ve just played the Mooncake dice game yesterday.:)

    1. hi Cher! same here… ang hirap. mas ayaw ko pag cash, haha! parang “huh? eto lang?” yung expression kase na makikita mo, LOL! ang hirap talaga.. haha. kaya sabi ni alex kahit wala na lang daw. tutal ako lang naman na-stress sa gift giving. ang sa akin lang, baka masabihan na porke “foreign wife” e walang pakialam sa “tradition.” kkk…

  2. “since we don’t need to travel to the province anymore.” – i guess your parents-in-law have moved to Seoul. Congrats!
    maybe you’ll post about accommodation in Korea someday? i’ve heard that if you want to buy a flat you have to make a deposit first, right? sounds quite complicated!
    happy upcoming holiday! + upcoming giveaway!!! =)

  3. Hi Ms. Betchay,
    I am a newbie here in Korea, just got here 1 month ago. I cant wait for chuseok as it would be my 1st time to experience it. Im planning to prepare a non Korean dessert this weekend but i dont have any idea on what or how, (sigh)!

    1. Hi Lian! Just think positively in case your husband’s family is very traditional. If they ask you do so many things, just think that you’re doing it out of love ;p

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