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Foreign

Nuts about nuts

Custom of consuming these crunchies comes once a year
Feb 09,2003
The following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Ms. Jonas, who wrote to us from Seoul:

Q. Ms. Jonas:
My sister and I looked in a tour guide and decided to go down to a couple of local open-air markets in Seoul. What we found unusual was that both markets sold heaps of nuts. As we passed by, some shopkeepers insisted that we eat the nuts. Is this just a seasonal thing or are we missing out on some special Korean culture?

A. IHT-JAD:
According to the lunar calendar, Full Moon Day or Daeboreum falls Feb. 15 this year. Celebrating Daeboreum is one of the major events during Asia's New Year's holiday. Traditionally, Asians believed that the bright light of the full moon bestowed celestial blessings on those who wish to prosper.

One of many customs at this time is to eat bureom, or assorted nuts. You're to "crack" your bureom on the evening of the full moon's day. It is believed that if you break your nuts aloud, you will be able to strengthen your teeth and avoid allergies in the coming year.
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