In Korea, the holiday of Thanksgiving is referred to as ‘Hangawi’. The term refers to the middle of month of August 15th as it was known as a “great day”. The direct translation is “ A Big Centre” however the meaning behind the word is “A Big Gathering”. Historically, the Korean people would visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of traditional food such as songpyeon (송편) and rice wines such as sindoju and dongdongju. It is believed that weaving competitions, archery competitions, and martial arts demonstrations were also held as part of the festivities.
About our festival
Since 2001, the Korean Harvest Festival has been attracting large crowds to Mel Lastman Square to experience Korean culture. This is officially the biggest Korean festival in Canada as well as the largest and most anticipated gathering in North York. In 2016 an estimated 35,000 people attended and turnout is expected to grow as the Hallyu phenomenon continues.
Every year, people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy over 20 live performances such as traditional sport of Tae Kwon Do, traditional dance and drumming, K-pop dance concert, interactive audience games, Korean traditional wrestling and the popular masked singer competition. There are also visits by prominent members of the Korean-Canadian community, politicians, celebrities and other VIPs during our opening ceremony. This year it will be held for 3 days on the last weekend of August and is free to the public.
Along with the performances, spectators can enjoy a wide variety of traditional and fusion Korean meals, snacks and drinks in our “Taste of Korea” food court. There will also be a beer garden to pair with the unique flavours Korea has to offer. There will also be over 50 market vendors to peruse with a group of friends or family, run by local businesses showcasing their goods and services.
The Korean Harvest Festival aims to spread the culture of thanksgiving by providing a variety of cultural events and programs on behalf of the Korean Canadian community. The Korean Canadian Business Association (KCBA) prides itself in working very hard to make this a successful event and hopes to cultivate the Korean Community in Toronto.