Boat Ritual

Headword

배고사 ( Baegosa )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Rites and Officiants

Writer KimJun(金準)
Date of update 2019-01-31

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; when poor catch continues; or when a boat owner is experiencing trouble due to uncleanness (bujeong). The ritual is officiated by the boat owner, but if he is afflicted by unclean elements, the captain or one of the sailors takes over. If the boat has been experiencing a series of accidents or poor catch, sometimes a shaman is brought in to officiate. Sacrificial foods must include a croaker, the biggest one from the first catch after setting sail, dried or pickled with salt on the boat. The ritual table is first set up in front of the sacred entity embodying Baeseonang, then is moved to the stern, then the head. It is followed by a simple procedure of the officiant pouring a cup of wine on each of the tables and offering two bows at each. Finally, he tears off bits from the food on the table, collects and mixes them in a gourd bowl, then scatters the contents on the water as a sacrifice to Yongwang (Dragon King), praying out loud, “We ask for your protection for a safe trip.” When baegosa is held as part of a village ritual, boat owners bring their boat banners (baetgi) and offer their prayers for a big catch.

Boat Ritual

Boat Ritual
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Rites and Officiants

Writer KimJun(金準)
Date of update 2019-01-31

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; when poor catch continues; or when a boat owner is experiencing trouble due to uncleanness (bujeong). The ritual is officiated by the boat owner, but if he is afflicted by unclean elements, the captain or one of the sailors takes over. If the boat has been experiencing a series of accidents or poor catch, sometimes a shaman is brought in to officiate. Sacrificial foods must include a croaker, the biggest one from the first catch after setting sail, dried or pickled with salt on the boat. The ritual table is first set up in front of the sacred entity embodying Baeseonang, then is moved to the stern, then the head. It is followed by a simple procedure of the officiant pouring a cup of wine on each of the tables and offering two bows at each. Finally, he tears off bits from the food on the table, collects and mixes them in a gourd bowl, then scatters the contents on the water as a sacrifice to Yongwang (Dragon King), praying out loud, “We ask for your protection for a safe trip.” When baegosa is held as part of a village ritual, boat owners bring their boat banners (baetgi) and offer their prayers for a big catch.