This is when I learned of what the dates and the chestnuts symbolized, -fertility/ fruitfulness/continuing the circle of life! The dates represent daughters and the chestnuts, sons. The new bride is supposed to catch as many as she can. And each one she catches is what is believed to be what she will conceive. Customarily, the bride and groom are supposed to eat their catching that night. Interesting shit, right? Oh and that cousin ended up having one son and one daughter, both teenagers now. It just seems like only yesterday when their only existence was in the hope and future that the dates and chestnuts represented. But I think my parents alone threw at least several at the time, and who knows how many the other elders threw. According to their catch, they should have had several kids at least. And who has that many kids nowadays anyway?Fast forward a couple of decades later and my parents are throwing dates and chestnuts at their own children, my brother and new sister in law. Maybe our generation is a little more Americanized than they were. The new bride and groom did not visit the grown ups wearing Hanboks. Instead, my mom gave my sister in law a towel to catch them in lol. Well, I wasn’t able to be there to watch. But that is what I heard.
And then, there is the ebaji eumsik (eumsik means “food” in Korean). It is the gift of food that the bride’s family presents to the new in laws, a gesture of asking them to take good care of their daughter.
There were several boxes of items that were included in the ebaji eumsik. Dduk (rice cakes) is a common item that is presented. My parents received a couple of boxes of colorful assorted dduks.