Rice is very important to Korean cuisine. It's the center of pretty much every meal and in fact the Korean word for “cooked rice” (bap: 밥) can also mean “meal.” Most of the time we Koreans eat white rice, or multigrain rice, but on special occasions we prepare rice mixed with red beans, called patbap.
Patbap tastes a little sweet, salty, and nutty and has a wonderful texture. It's also a lovely reddish-purple color, which is one reason it's prepared for special occasions like birthdays (and especially children's birthdays): the red color is known to ward off evil spirits in traditional Korean culture.
This special occasion rice needs time to prepare, which is one reason Koreans don't have it often. Red beans are very hard so you need to spend some time boiling them to make them soft. I use short grain rice in this recipe but you could also make it with chapssal (sweet rice) which will be really chewy like rice cake.