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Traditional Chuseok rituals head online amid COVID-19 Updated: 2020-09-16 10:07:36 KST

Chuseok is a time when scattered family members gather together and express their thanks to their ancestors through traditional rituals.
But this year, families can no longer celebrate Chuseok the old way.

The pandemic has forced people to find new ways to follow old traditions. They are finding new methods to meet not only friends… but also ancestors.

To keep the holiday spirit, the Chuseok traditions are going online.
Most years, people visit Incheon Family Park to pay their respects to their ancestors resting there.
This year, the park is hosting an online ancestral ritual service.
Families can carry out their ritual in front of a screen that has an animated drawing of food and flowers, instead of an actual memorial service table.
People can also write messages to their ancestors and lay a wreath on the screen.
As well as lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19, the online service has other benefits.

"There's a lot of people who can't come because they're too far away. Like people who are living overseas. This gives them the opportunity to see the pictures of the graves or urns of their ancestors.

The online service also saves families from having to prepare heaps of food for the ritual.
Two-thousand people have already registered for the service at Incheon Family Park.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare's funeral information system is also helping other memorial parks to run similar online services and Chuseok rituals.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News
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