Why Kimchi Making Is An Annual Winter Ritual For Korean Families

 - Sakshi Post

Kimchi, the staple of South Korean cuisine is a side dish; Fermented vegetables like cabbage or radish with salt and other seasoning like onion, garlic and ginger. Kimchi has been a part of Korean culture for long. Every year during winter, the locals get into making large batches of kimchi.

Gimjang or kimjang, happens once every year. It is a practice where the family members come together to make large quantities of kimchi. This requires a lot of time. Cutting and mixing the cabbage or any other base vegetable, takes a lot of time.

In earlier days, this was done by the entire community. People from all the houses would come together to make kimchi. This ritual started years back, before the invention of technology. When people did not have equipment, this process would be even more rigorous. To help each other in making and storing kimchi for winter, people would come together.

Even after all these years, some families still love to follow the tradition of Gimjang. In 2013, UNESCO recognized the tradition of kimchi making (Gimjang) as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In 2015, Seoul even had a festival in order to celebrate this dish. In order to keep the traditional process of kimchi making alive, this festival had volunteers mixing all the ingredients by hand.

Picture from 4th Seoul Kimchi Festival held in 2017 

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