Early humans harnessed fire and drove back the darkness. By bringing light to the night, they could extend the span of their activities and accelerate the development of culture. A wide range of lightening devices has since been developed. As in other parts of the globe, oil lamps and wax candles were the primary means to lighten the dark hours in traditional Korean society. They were long familiar to Koreans at night until the introduction of modern sources of illumination, such as petroleum lamps and electricity.
Korea’s official script is Hangeul, the unique Korean alphabet. This name, a compound of han, meaning “the Korean people” or “great” and geul, meaning “letters,” was given to it early in the 20th century. The creator of hangeul was King Sejong the Great (reigned 1418-1450), the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty.
A warm reprieve after enduring the winter cold can be found at the dining table. Dishes made from young wild greens stimulate the senses with their verdant vitality, refreshing aromas, and brisk flavors, announcing the arrival of a long-awaited spring.