Tuesday, July 17, 2018

happy chobok

I was in a cab and on my way to Gwangjang Market, this morning, to pick up my 25 plates and 25 bowls when I heard, over the radio, the repeated announcement that today was chobok, i.e., the first of three markers for the month-long "dog days" of summer. The word cho means "first" or "initial" or "beginning." For the purpose of these bok days (boknal in Korean), we've got cho (first), jung (middle), and mal (ending/final): chobok, jungbok, and malbok, the three boknal of summer (a.k.a. sambok, or the 3 bok), each defining a part of the hottest month-long period (which doesn't necessarily correspond to a solar-calendar month). I think these days are determined well in advance—so far in advance that they're printed on calendars that have been manufactured the previous year. I need to do some research into how the concept came about, and how such days are determined.* Anyway, happy chobok. Enjoy languishing in the heat; we've still got August ahead of us, and the first two-thirds of September.

Meanwhile, I have to wonder: is the jangma (monsoon) over? If so, that's the shortest jangma period ever. Weather.com is predicting only one rainy day from now to the end of July. Go figure. Then go pray to the god of climate change: have mercy on us.

*Korean Wikipedia suggests that chobok is placed on the haji (summer solstice), with the other two days rolling forward from there.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, apparently jangma is over. Very short indeed. The heat also seems to be particularly brutal and early this year, although I wasn't here last year, so maybe I'm just forgetting what it's like.



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