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HanYangmyung

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HanYangmyung

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Flower Card Game

Hwatu (Kor. 화투, Chin. 花鬪, lit. flower fight) is a game played with a deck of forty-eight cards comprising twelve sets of four cards, each set representing one of the twelve months of the year. Each card has images of flowers or plants associated with the corresponding month on its face. Pine trees are the motif of the January cards; plum flowers, February; cherry blossoms, March; black bush clovers, April; orchids, June; peonies, July; red bush clovers, July; full moon, August; chrysanthemums, S

Korean Seasonal Customs

Ritual for Dragon King

Yongwangje is a ritual for worshipping Dragon King at a venue on or by the water, including the river, sea or a well, to pray for a good harvest and a good catch, peace in the family and good health for children, and the prevention of bad fortune. Yongwangje can be categorized into rituals that are held privately in the home and those organized by the community as village rituals, but both serve the same purpose. The dragon king ritual practiced in the home is also called eobusim (ritual of merc

Korean Folk Beliefs

Gwanhwa

A custom using fire in various ways to perform entertaining traditions. Korea’s fire-related customs have been transmitted in a competitive form, as well as in an individualistic form. The former has Hwaetbulssaum (torch battle) as the only example, while the rest fall under the latter. The most common individual fire traditions are Gwandeung, a tradition passed down within the Buddhist culture of India and China, and Gwanhwa, a tradition that settled within Korean culture. Gwanhwa appeared in t

Korean Folk Arts

Nakwa Nori

A type of fireworks performed during the night of Jeongwol Daeboreum, April 8th of the lunar calendar (Buddha’s Birthday), and the 14th day (Gimang) of the 7th lunar month. Nakwa Nori can be categorized into two types: Gwandeung and Gwanhwa. The two of them, in fact, were transmitted differently as the Gwandeung version of Nakwa Nori was a part of the Yeondeunghoe tradition based on Buddhism, while the Gwanhwa version of Nakwa Nori was a part of the appreciation for the arts by sajok (scholar fa

Korean Folk Arts

Twenty-first day after birth

Period of three weeks after birth or the twenty- first day after birth. On the third day after birth, the mother and the baby usually take their first bath, which means purification of their unpure bodies. From this day the mother begins to eat various kinds of foods, according to her means, to help with breast feeding. After the third day, taboos and rites with practical or shamanistic implications are observed every seventh day. On the first seventh day, the baby is dressed in a new top and en

Korean Rites of Passage

Dreams believed to foretell the conception or birth of a child

Dreams believed to foretell the conception, gender, and destiny of a child. From ancient times, people considered dreams of particular symbols as a sign of conception, and through interpretation of the symbols, they foretold the gender and destiny of the child. The dreamer of such a birth dream, or taemong, was mostly the mother of the woman who would conceive a child, but could also be her husband, grandparents on her father’s side or on her mother’s side, other relatives, or neighbors. The per

Korean Rites of Passage

Memorial ceremony for one’s maternal ancestors

A memorial rite held for the maternal grandmother by the daughters’ descendants. Around the late Joseon era, it gradually became the custom for ancestral memorial rites to be performed by jeokjangja (Kor. 적장자, Chin. 嫡長子, lit. legitimate firstborn son), but up until the mid Joseon period, those who conducted ancestral rites were chosen in various ways: yunhoebongsa (Kor. 윤회봉사, Chin. 輪回奉祀) was a rite observed by sons and daughters alternately; oesonbongsa (Kor. 외손봉사, Chin. 外孫奉祀) held by the descen

Korean Rites of Passage

Spring Blossom Excursion

Hwajeon nori (Kor. 화전놀이, Chin. 花煎, lit. picnic with flower petal pancakes) was a term reserved in traditional Korea for the custom of going out to the mountains to watch the spring blossoms on Samjinnal (Kor. 삼짇날, lit. Double-three Day), the third day of the third lunar month. The name of the event derives its meaning from the fact that people habitually brought a picnic basket full of pancakes adorned with azalea petals, known as hwajeon (Kor. 화전, Chin, 花煎, flower petal pancakes) to the scenic

Korean Seasonal Customs

Andong Chajeon Nori

A game using nori equipment called dongchae for team battle. Andong Chajeon Nori was designated as an intangible property and is the official name for the Chajeon or Dongchae Ssaum. The Andong Chajeon Nori has been passed down as two types of battles, including Bondongchae and Jjaegidongchae. Bondongchae was used in larger scale Chajeons, as it was passed down among villages in Andong, while Jjaegidongchae was a simple vehicle used in smaller scale Chajeons, specifically performed among adolesce

Korean Folk Arts

Baet Nori

A custom appreciating artwork on a boat in a river or pond. Baet Nori was mainly held by the yangban (the gentry of the Joseon Period), although it was enjoyed by various classes. Baet Nori for the yangban can be divided into two types: the Sojourn, where people stay on a boat in a specific area; and Excursion, where people move around over a relatively long period of time. Sojourn was typically a custom where people set a boat afloat near their home, whereas Excursion was a custom where people

Korean Folk Arts

Seori

The stealing of grain, fruit, and poultry for fun among children to satiate their hunger when there was food shortage during the agricultural off-seasons. There were various stealing practices committed in farming villages prior to the 1960s, primarily among children in their early teens. Since younger children had difficulty in searching and choosing what they would steal and did not know how to cook the stolen food well, they had to rely on the food given by their older peers. As children reac

Korean Folk Arts

Minsok Nori

Traditional Korean games played among commoners and people of other social classes. Despite a considerable amount of studies on various Korean folk games being accumulated thus far, a clear boundary that defines the scope of a Korean folk game has yet to be determined. Most researchers have used the term to refer to traditional games that have been passed down over the course of time. Jeollae Nori, or Jeontong Nori (both meaning traditional folk games) are other terms that have been used in the

Korean Folk Arts

Seokjeon

A game, primarily played around Jeongwol Daeboreum, dividing players into two teams by a creek or a wide street to throw rocks toward each other’s area to decide a winner. Seokjeon was mostly played around Jeongwol Daeboreum (the first full moon of the lunar calendar), but was also played on Dano (the festival on May 5th of the lunar year) or Chuseok (the harvest festival) as well in some regions. The game was passed down among two different tiers; one played by the Goeul (traditional administra

Korean Folk Arts

Ox Fight

Sossaum (Kor. 소싸움) is a traditional ox fight in which two oxen are pitted against each other. In the past, when Korea was a predominantly-agricultural country, the importance of oxen was ubiquitous and ox fights were held in all parts of the peninsula. Regular ox fights held at annual events with oxen representing different villages were only organized in some parts of South Gyeongsang Province and the Cheongdo area of North Gyeongsang Province (these were the territories of the Gaya Kingdom (?-

Korean Seasonal Customs

Yeongdeok Worworicheongcheong

A custom featuring collective singing and dancing of young women on holidays related to the full moon, including Daeboreum and Hangawi. Worwori-cheongcheong is an umbrella word referring to a series of games, as well as the name of a custom based on a circle dance. Its origin and time of inception are unknown, yet a few theories exist among the people. The first theory regards the meaning of worwori-cheongcheong as “Beware of Cheongjeong (Korean pronunciation of the Japanese name Kiyomasa writte

Korean Folk Arts

Juldarigi

A game pulling a rope in a test of strength to decide a winner. In traditional society, a team game was one of the major events in a local community. The game of Juldarigi (tug-of-war), in particular, was an event that could realize the highest level of unity among community members, as it welcomed any and every one to partake in the game. Several factors contributed to generate diversity of game play, based on factors including the size of folk group, where and when the game is held, the shape

Korean Folk Arts

Yeongsan Soemeoridaegi

A game bumping wooden cow heads on Jeongwol Daeboreum in Yeongsanmyeon of Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do Province. Yeongsan Soemeoridaegi was performed on Jeongwol Daeboreum (first full moon of the lunar calendar) at Yeongsan and was discontinued in the 1930s. The game was then revived in 1965 and designated as Intangible Cultural Property No. 25 in 1969. Yeongsan Soemeoridaegi was conducted on Jeongwol Daeboreum in celebration of the Lunar New Year. As other traditional team games, it was pe

Korean Folk Arts

Yeongsan Juldarigi

A game consisting of Juldarigi in Yeongsan-myeon of Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, played on Jeongwol Daeboreum. Yeongsan Juldarigi is played by two teams divided into the east team and the west team, according to the residential areas. The division starts from dividing the four villages within the town of the old boundary of Yeongsan County into east and west sides. In Yeongsan, Seongnae-ri and Gyo-ri within the town wall were considered the east side, and Seo-ri and Dong-ri, the o

Korean Folk Arts

January Full Moon Performance of Beopheung, Miryang

Miryang Beopheung Sangwon Nori (Kor. 밀양법흥상원놀이, Chin. 密陽法興上元-, lit. first full moon performance of Beopheung, Miryang) is a long-time tradition of Beopheung Village, which is located in Beopheung-ri, Danjang-myeon, Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province. The performance has been designated as South Gyeongsang Province Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 16 and originally was a series of performances, games, and rites during the village’s New Year festival dangsanje (Kor. 당산제, Chin. 堂山祭, sacrificial ritu

Korean Seasonal Customs
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