Jo Apr 1, 2024

Chongmyong means the start of clear weather.

Every year it falls on April 4th or 5th. This year April 4 is Chongmyong.

Chongmyong, which comes in the most beautiful and balmy season of the year, is closely related to the life of Korean people. Considering farming as the mainstay, Korean people used to soak rice seeds in water before Chongmyong and sow them over seedbeds. On the day, they usually started spring sowing.

With regard to this, a historical classic “Tongguksesigi” says, “spring ploughing starts on Chongmyong on all farms”.

About this time of the year they used to sow crops like foxtail millet, sorghum, millet, bean, adzuki bean, etc., and many kinds of vegetables such as pumpkin, radish, pepper, spring onion, etc. They also sowed their well-kept gardens with flowers like balsam and zinnia.

On the other hand, Korean people regarded it as an ancestral custom to visit their ancestors’ graves dressed in traditional costumes on the day. They used to climb the mountain to take good care of the graves by turfing them and heaping up earth over the mounds lowered throughout the winter before expressing their condolences to the ancestors. And some people moved graves to other places, which was called chonmyo or ijang. The custom of repairing or removing graves is connected with the fact that the day is seasonally suitable for piling earth up or grave removal with high rate of rooting of turfs and unfrozen ground.

It is also associated with beautiful and noble sense of moral obligation of Korean people, who treated their ancestors with utmost courtesy.

The custom is still being handed down.