On the Twelfth Day of Christmas …

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Twelve drummers drumming.

I bring you drummers from South Korea, which is appropriate. It’s September, and they’re celebrating Chuseok, which is a sort of secular Harvest Festival. But it fills the place in the calendar that Christmas does here. It’s a time to spend with family and friends, to exchange gifts, and generally to have a good time. Bring on the drummers and dancers!

Chuseok at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, September 2016

There are moments when you have no fewer, and no more than twelve drummers before you. But you’ll have to keep your wits about you.

And that’s it. The end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tonight’s the time to take down the tree, tidy away cards and decorations … till next year. It’s all over unless you’re Spanish, or from a range of Latin American countries, in which case you’ll be celebrating El Dia de los Reyes, or Los Reyes Magos, when the Three Kings visited the infant Jesus. A great excuse for a party!

Happy Chuseok

It’s Chuseok today, the 15th September – and yesterday, and tomorrow. It’s a time when Koreans enjoy their families, honour their ancestors, and used to celebrate the harvest.

Come on girls, you’ll enjoy the chance to dress up and parade the streets in gorgeous traditional dress. Go on – you know you want to. Make your man dress up too. You know he doesn’t want to.

You’ll want to give gifts too. I know just the thing. Presentation boxes of tins of spam. They’re in every shop. The Americans introduced the stuff during the Korean war in the 1950s and the Koreans love it to this day.

Happy Chuseok!