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ChoiInhak

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ChoiInhak

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Lit. teasing the groom

A wedding ritual in which young male villagers or relatives of the bride tease and play tricks on the groom during his stay at the wife’s home. The most representative form of teasing is to hang the bridegroom upside down. After the wedding ceremony, the new couple sit inside a room while the family, relatives and neighbors watch them. A group of young men approach the bridegroom, tie a white cloth around his ankles and start slapping the soles of his feet with a club. The bride, standing nearby

Korean Rites of Passage

Hunting Day

Nabil (Kor. 납일, Chin. 臘日, lit. hunting day) designates the third day with the celestial stem mi (Kor. 미일, Chin. 未日) after Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice). It is also known as nappyeong (Kor. 납평, Chin. 臘平), gapyeong (Kor. 가평, Chin. 嘉平), gapyeongjeol (Kor. 가평절, Chin. 嘉平節), or naphyangil (Kor. 납향일, Chin. 臘享日). In the Buyeo Kingdom (?-494), there existed a custom called yeonggo (Kor. 영고, Chin. 迎鼓) in which sacrifices were made to the heavens on a day in the twelfth lunar month. A similar

Korean Seasonal Customs

Wooden-goose presenting ceremony

A marriage procedure in which the groom offers a wooden goose to the bride’s parents. Chohaeng (초행, 醮行) refers to the groom’s journey to the bride’s home to hold the wedding. On his arrival, the first thing he does is to offer a goose to her parents, a procedure called jeonallye. Initially, live geese were used but they have been replaced with black lacquered wooden versions. If a wooden goose was unavailable, a live chicken or goose made from rice cake was used as a substitute. When the groom g

Korean Rites of Passage

Wishes for Good Fortune in the New Year

Deokdam (Kor. 덕담, Chin. 德談, lit. virtuous remarks) refers to the remarks wishing others well, exchanged between people on festive occasions, particularly during the Lunar New Year season. In general people wish each other success in achieving their goals for the new year. However, the speaker usually considers the situation of the one to whom the greeting is addressed. Thus, a greeting for someone who wants to have a child naturally differs from the one intended for someone hoping to start a car

Korean Seasonal Customs

New Year's Greetings

Sebae, (Kor. 세배, Chin. 歲拜, lit. [New] Year’s bows) is the Korean traditional New Year’s greeting of respect to one’s seniors (including parents). This consists of deep bows, in which a person kneels to the floor and extends his or her arms outward. The New Year celebration in rural areas starts with a charye (Kor. 차례, Chin. 茶禮, lit. tea-offering ceremony (performed for the ancestors)), followed by the bows to the senior members of a family, and then a memorial service at the an

Korean Seasonal Customs

Beginning of Summer

The seventh of the twenty-four solar terms, Ipha (Kor. 입하, Chin. 立夏, Beginning of Summer) is in the fourth lunar month and falls approximately on May sixth on the Gregorian calendar. On Ipha the sun is at 45 degrees on the ecliptic. Preceded by Gogu (Kor. 곡우, Chin. 穀雨, Grain Rain) and followed by Soman (Kor. 소만, Chin. 小滿, Beginning of Grain Ripening), it is considered the official gateway of summer. Ipha is also known as Maengnyang (Kor. 맥량, Chin. 麥凉) or Maekchu (Kor. 맥추, Chin. 麥秋), which means

Korean Seasonal Customs

Bearded Grain

Mangjong (Kor. 망종, Chin. 芒種, lit. bearded grain) is the ninth of the twenty-four solar terms. Occurring between Soman (Kor. 소만, Chin. 小滿, Beginning of Grain Ripening) and Haji (Kor. 하지, Chin. 夏至, Summer Solstice), Mangjong usually falls during the fifth month on the lunar calendar and happens around June sixth on the Gregorian calendar. The sun reaches the celestial longitude of 75 degrees on this day. As suggested by its name, Mangjong indicates the appropriate time to harvest the first crop an

Korean Seasonal Customs

Beginning of Grain Ripening

The eighth of the twenty-four solar terms, Soman (Kor. 소만, Chin. 小滿, Beginning of Grain Ripening) is around May twenty-first on the Gregorian calendar and occurs during the fourth lunar month. The sun is positioned at 60 degrees on the ecliptic. Falling between Ipha (Kor. 입하, Chin. 立夏, Beginning of Summer) and Mangjong (Kor. 망종, Chin. 芒種, Bearded Grain, the barley harvest season), Soman marks a period during which the increasing sun hours promote the growth of all living things and fill the eart

Korean Seasonal Customs

Double-three Day

Samjinnal (Kor. 삼짇날, lit. double-three day) falls on the third day of the third lunar month. Three being a positive number in numerology, this date containing two threes was considered to be highly auspicious. Other names of the day, which also have the meaning of two threes, are Samjil (Kor. 삼질) and Samsaennal (Kor. 삼샛날). In addition, the day can be referred to as Yeojaui nal (Kor. 여자의 날, lit. Women’s Day) and “the Day of Swallows’ Returning from the South” (Kor. 강남갔던제비오는날). By this time, sprin

Korean Seasonal Customs
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