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01

Field Play

Deulnoreum (Kor. 들놀음, Chin. 野遊, lit. field play) is a traditional mask play held during the Great Full Moon Festival (the fifteenth of the first lunar month) in Dongnae-gu and Suyeong-dong of Nam-gu, both located in the Busan administrative area. In the past deulnoreum was generally the name used by the elderly and women in the area, to refer to the mask play, while the “learned people” and the younger people more oftenly referred to it as yaryu (Kor. 야류, Chin. 野遊). Both names mean “outdoor play

Korean Seasonal Customs

02

Memorial rite on the second death anniversary

The ancestral memorial rite held on the second death anniversary of an ancestor Literally meaning “extremely auspicious day, ” daesang refers to an ancestral memorial rite performed on the second death anniversary of an ancestor. Without counting leap months, it is held twenty-five months after the funeral. On the day, the participants are required to wear special ceremonial garments called dambok, which are made of fine fabric woven with black threads as the warp and white as the weft. A very i

Korean Rites of Passage

03

New Year’s Flag Greetings

Gisebae (Kor. 기세배, Chin. 旗歲拜, lit. New Year’s flag greetings) is a custom observed during Jeongwol Daeboreum (Kor. 정월대보름, Great Full Moon Festival) with the purpose of praying for an abundant harvest. As its name implies, the custom involves the use of flags that are referred to as nongsingi (Kor. 농신기, Chin. 農神旗, lit. farming god flag). Gisebae is also known under other names such as nonggi sebae (Kor. 농기세배, Chin. 農旗歲拜, lit. greetings of farming flags), nonggi bbaetgi (Kor. 농기뺏기, Chin. 農旗-, lit.

Korean Seasonal Customs

04

Dokdo

Dokdo legends narrate the stories surrounding the eighty-nine islands in Dokdo-ri, part of the village of Ulleung, in Ulleung County, North Geyongsang Province. One of the legends related to Dokdo is“ Gum- eongbawi (Hole Rock), ”about a rock located off the shore of Cheonbu Village, which was originally on the waters off Hyeonpo Village. An elderly villager with mighty powers tied up the rock to a boat and tried to take it to faraway waters. But the rock would not be pulled away, and the old man

Korean Folk Literature

05

Brother Sister Pagoda

This legend narrates the story of Nammaetap (Brother Sister Pagoda), erected to commemorate a Buddhist monk and a maiden who became sworn siblings and pursued religious discipline until they died on the very same day. According to oral transmission, the protagonist of this legend is Monk Sangwon of late Silla. Sangwon was engaged in religious discipline in a tent put up near the current location of Nammaetap when he happened to meet a maiden, together with whom he practiced religious devotion an

Korean Folk Literature

06

Coming-of-age ceremony for boys

The coming-of-age ceremony for male members of the Korean society in the past to celebrate their reaching the age of twenty, that is, adulthood. Gwallye was performed for boys who were soon to marry or who had reached the age of twenty. This coming-of-age ceremony for boys took place according to the following procedures. ① Taegil (setting the date): The ceremony had totake place on an auspicious day or, if the families concerned found it difficult to set such a date, a day in the first month of

Korean Rites of Passage

07

Buckwheat Noodles with Seasoning

Goldongmyeon (Kor. 골동면, Chin. 骨董麵) is the name of a dish that consists of buckwheat noodles topped with slices of meat and vegetables and is eaten with a spicy sauce. The word goldong (Kor. 골동, Chin. 骨董) means a variety of ingredients that are mixed together. The seasoning originally was soy sauce-based, but today it is customary to make it from red pepper paste. Goldongmyeon is part of the culinary tradition of cold noodles, or naengmyeon (Kor. 냉면, Chin. 冷麵), popularly eaten in winter (particul

Korean Seasonal Customs