Congresswoman Lee Mi Kyung, who is married to an oldest son and living with his parents, has been changing holiday customs little by little for the past 8 years through family meetings.
Lee's family has established some family rules, such as "taking turns hosting family events such as birthdays, parents' days and memorial services, inviting married daughters to parents' birthdays, gathering in the house of the family living with the parents-in-law on traditional holidays and making such gatherings potluck dinners, and letting daughters-in-law and granddaughters participate in the ancestral memorial services and partake of the sacrificial food."
As more and more families do away with superficialities on traditional holidays and make them simple and quiet affairs, Womenlink Korea's annual campaign to change traditional holiday customs entitled 'Laugh! It's a Holiday!' is gaining popularity. Particularly eye-catching this year is the guidebook for alternative holiday-makers entitled 'Men Want to Change Traditional Holidays Too.' To 42-year-old Mr. Min, an ordinary company manager, a traditional holiday was a golden chance to catch up on lost sleep or gamble at cards. This year, however, Mr. Min held a family meeting before the traditional holiday to discuss everything from preparing the food to holding the ancestral worship service. The Min family decided to have a rice dumpling-making contest and award small prizes to those who make the nicest-looking rice dumplings. The male family members who have no idea how to make rice dumplings can follow Mr. Min's lead.
Those who are interested can participate in the 'Laugh! It's a Holiday!' campaign through its website smile.womenlink.or.kr. The site has a 'Holiday Playground' corner introducing family games, as well as a unique corner entitled 'Holiday Stress Clinic.'