Monday, June 11, 2012

집들이 Housewarming Party

 Our guests in the beginning of the evening

Now that we're more or less moved into our new house, this weekend was dedicated to housewarming parties. We were really overwhelmed by the number of guests that showed up, but we had a really great time. I figure this would be a good time to write about a traditional Korean 집들이 and how ours was similar and different.

Our guests as the night wore on

Generally, when a couple moves into their new house, a housewarming party is thrown. This is supposed to be where the bride shows off her cooking skills to her guests, though I hear nowadays it's more like the mother-in-law showing off her cooking skills instead. We would have loved to provide food for everyone, but we only had our gas hooked up hours before the party and we had almost no food in the fridge, so for party number one, we basically provided nothing for our guests. We're so rude... But, our house seemed to be the perfect place for an awesome party. We had over 30 guests at our house, though, not all at the same time, and we had tons of fun... actually a little too much fun for me as I spent most of the next day non-functional from all the alcohol from the night before.

Festivities spread throughout the house

We were a little better for party number two which we held for my co-workers. Much fewer people and much more time to prepare, the boyfriend was able to wow them with his amazing 궁중 떡복기 (Royal Ddokbokki), 김치전 (Kimchi Pancake) and 잡재 (Chap chae).

 My coworkers feasting on 궁중떡볶이 (Royal Ddeokbokki)

Another great thing about housewarming parties is the gifts.  Now, we told people not to bring gifts as they weren't necessary, but that didn't stop people anyway... We got loads of Korean traditional gifts plus a few more western-style ones too. 

First for the traditional Korean gifts. Koreans tend to give gifts that you tend to need around the house and they each represent something. For example, toilet paper represents tied up problems to unravel smoothly and detergent represents wealth bubbling up like soap suds. Not quite sure about the tissues though...

 Alcohol set

In America, we tend to give another sort of housewarming gift. Usually things to use in the house too, but more like reusable things like plates, table cloths, furniture, etc. Here are a few of the non-traditional gifts we got, too. 

 Framed Korean Masks

A set of shot glasses with pictures of traditional scenes on them 

Framed original copies of the illustrations from Wild Korean, thanks to our illustrator, Douglas Holden, plus a beautiful woodblock print

So, I just want to thank everyone who came to our two parties and I hope things continue to go well for us in our new home! To read more about traditional Korean housewarming parties, see this post on the Korea blog.


  1. Looks like so much fun! Sorry Steve and I missed it. We hope we can get together again sometime soon!

  2. Congratulation for new house... Party looks very good..