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Arrow Throwing

Tuho (Kor. 투호, Chin. 投壺, lit. throwing into a vase) is a game in which players are divided into two teams and throw arrows into a vase placed at a certain distance. The vases into which the arrows are thrown vary both in size and shape. The size of the arrows also differs, and each player is given a set of twelve arrows. Points are earned depending on the proximitiy of the arrow to the center of the vase. The game originated in China prior to the Han dynasty (BCE 206 - CE 220). It is mentioned i

Korean Seasonal Customs


Temporary spirit tablet

Temporary spirit tablet of a deceased person made of white fabric for use at funeral rites before the sinju (Kor. 신주, Chin. 神主, spirit tablet) is made. Honbaek is a type of sinwi (Kor. 신위, Chin. 神位, spirit tablets) where the spirit of the deceased temporarily resided. In traditional funeral rites, the ancestral spirit is transferred to different objects in three stages until it is completely entrusted to the sinju, the spirit tablet proper. The first step is to transfer the spirit of the decease

Korean Rites of Passage



A series of acrobatic movements performed on running horses, including standing upright, headstands, hanging on the side, and moving from one side to another. Masangjae refers to a series of acrobatic movements performed on running horses, while along with Gyeokgu (Korean polo), Masangjae is generally considered a kind of equestrian martial arts. Despite an unknown time of origin, it is assumed that Masangjae has a considerably long history given the fact that horses were already used in Korea d

Korean Folk Arts



A member of the nongak (farmers’ music) troupe dressed as a certain character who acts out various skits. Japsaek (Kor. 잡색, Chin. 雜色, lit. mixed colors) are referred to as the dwitchibae, the actors who lead a nongak performance along with apchibae, who play musical instruments, the bearers of different flags including the farming community flag (nonggi) and command flag (yeonggi), and the player of the double-reed oboe (saenapsu). The japsaek lead the second half of the performance (dwitgut) ra

Korean Folk Arts


Top Spinning

Paengi chigi (Kor. 팽이치기) refers to top spinning, a favorite winter pastime for children in traditional Korea. They usually spun tops on ice-covered surfaces. In the “Yeogeo Yuhae” (Kor. 역어유해, Chin. 譯語類解, Categorical Analysis of the Chinese Language Translation), published during the reign of King Sukjong (1661-1720), and the “Hancheong Mungam” (Kor. 한청문감, Chin. 漢淸文鑑, Manchu-Korean Dictionary) that appeared during the reign of King Jeongjo (1752-1800), paengi (Kor. 팽이, top) is spelled pingi (Kor.

Korean Seasonal Customs


Boat Ritual

Baegosa is a worship ritual to pray for a big catch and safety on a boat. This ritual is held privately by boat owners to worship the boat guardian deity Baeseonang, or as part of communal rituals like pungeoje or dangje. As a private ritual, baegosa is observed on seasonal holidays, among which the biggest is held on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon) on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. It is also held when a new boat has been purchased or constructed; when setting out for a catch;

Korean Folk Beliefs


Songcheon Daljiptaeugi

A custom burning daljip during the night of Jeongwol Daeboreum in Songsan Village of Songcheon-ri, Woldeung-myeon, Suncheon, Jeollanam-do Province. The tradition of burning a daljip in Songsan Village has been transmitted from generation to generation and happily enjoyed by the villagers. It was designated as Intangible Cultural Property No. 24 of Jeollanam-do Province as of January 31, 1994. Songcheon Daljiptaeugi is a combination of various seasonal customs. It has been passed down along with

Korean Folk Arts