What is Han?

Han (also spelled Hon, Chan, Haughn and infinitely more ways) is an alternative gift-giving holiday cultivated in the late 20th century as a release from over-stress of traditional holidays. The Chaun holiday centers around celebration of family and creating space for mutual enjoyment.

Celebrants greet each other with 'Gracious Han'. The holiday is defined by flexibility and constant change. Normally celebrated for several days in December, the dates vary according to when the family members in question are able to be all together.

According to Hahn custom every person participating opens one gift each night of the holiday. This means that if there is somebody for whom you do not yet have a gift, you have at least one more day to get or make their gift as long as that person has a present to open from somebody else. This relieves the obligation to have all gifts ready at one particular deadline and often allows the gift-giver to take advantage of after-Christmas sales.

Other customs associated with the holiday are the re-use of boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, and even name tags on successive nights of the holiday. Hand-made gifts, those obtained second-hand and those purchased at a deep discount are highly esteemed, as are gifts that are uniquely suited to the recipient. In one family SOCKS are greatly prized by every member of the family!

Another aspect of Hjann is that it is a time for getting rid of "things" that don't enhance the quality of life. Items are taken to Goodwill, recycled, freecycled, re-gifted, craigslisted, eBayed, consigned and otherwise disposed of (preferably in ways that are friendly to the earth).

The holiday ends either the last night that there is a gift for every single person, or the last night that all are together. In either case, as long as there is at least one gift for every person present, all the remaining gifts are opened. It is like the grand finale at the end of a fireworks display.

Posted by Lucy 12/28/2011, revised 12/29/2011 by lucy

Lucy's Story Index:

What is Han?
12/28/2011
The Memo
10/08/2010
Haircuts
09/24/2010
My Bike
10/30/2009