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SeoYoungdae

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SeoYoungdae

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Dangun, Founder of Gojoseon

Dangun is the founder of Korea’s first kingdom Gojoseon (2333-108 B.C.E.) and is also worshipped as a deity in Korean folk religion. Earliest records on Dangun appear in 13th century historical texts including Samgungyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) and Jewangungi (Songs of Emperors and Kings). Dangun’s status in Korean history was firmly established during Joseon, when his tomb was identified and state-organized rituals were launched to worship him as the national founder. During the Gr

Korean Folk Beliefs

Shaman

Mudang refers to shamans who officiate rituals and perform divination in Korean folk religion. Shamans are also called beopsa in Chuncheong Province; dangol in Jeolla Province; and simbang on Jeju Island. A female shaman is called mansin; while a male shaman is called baksu, hwaraengi, nangjung or yangjungi. In ancient times, political leaders also played the role of officiants in services for worshiping the heavenly spirits, which is believed to be the origin of the shaman, as seen in the name

Korean Folk Beliefs

Mountain God

Sansin, or Mountain God, is a widely worshipped village guardian deity that resides in the mountain as its ruler and protector. The worship of Sansin is based on animism, the religious belief that natural physical entities possess a spiritual essence. Sansin’s sacred entities are rendered in the form of the tiger or the Taoist immortal sinseon. There are records that say the national founder [Dangun](/topic/Dangun, FounderofGojoseon) became Sansin, which supports the belief that humans could als

Korean Folk Beliefs

Sacred District Sodo

Sodo was a sacred district in Mahan, one of the Three Han States of ancient Korea, circa 1st–3rd centuries. Details about Sodo can be found in the Chinese history book Sanguozhi (Records of the Three Kingdoms), in the “Account of Dongyi” chapter of the volume History of the Wei Dynasty. The book describes a district called Sodo in the Three Han States that was independent of the boundaries of political administration, where spirits were worshipped through rituals using a pole attached with a rat

Korean Folk Beliefs

Ancient Celestial God Worship Rituals

Celestial god worship rituals in ancient times were farming or hunting rites aimed at offering prayers or thanks for a good harvest. In ancient kingdoms of the Korean peninsula, including Buyeo, Goguryeo, Dongye, and Samhan, annual celestial god worship rituals were held to express gratitude for the year’s harvest. Yeonggo, of Buyeo (18 B.C.E.-660), was a largescale state-organized event held over several days and participated in by people from around the country, with dancing and drinking, whic

Korean Folk Beliefs

Ancient Celestial God Worship Rituals

Celestial god worship rituals in ancient times were farming or hunting rites aimed at offering prayers or thanks for a good harvest. In ancient kingdoms of the Korean peninsula, including Buyeo, Goguryeo, Dongye, and Samhan, annual celestial god worship rituals were held to express gratitude for the year’s harvest. Yeonggo, of Buyeo (18 B.C.E.-660), was a largescale state-organized event held over several days and participated in by people from around the country, with dancing and drinking, whic

Korean Folk Beliefs

Replanting Grass on Burial Mounds

One of the main customs on Hansik (Kor. 한식, Chin. 寒食, Cold Food Day) is refurbishing ancestral tombs by adding dirt and replanting grass on the parts of the mound which have been broken off or eroded away. This custom, dating back to the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), became a common practice during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and is still observed nationwide. According to the “Sangnye Pyeonnam” (Kor. 상례편람, Chin. 喪禮便覽, Funeral Manual, 1844) and the “Sarye Holgi” (Kor. 사례홀기, Chin. 四禮笏記, Procedures

Korean Seasonal Customs

Cold Food Day

Hansik (Kor. 한식, Chin. 寒食, lit. cold food) occurs on the 105th day after the winter solstice and approximately April fifth on the Gregorian calendar. It is one of the four major holidays in Korea, along with New Year’s Day, Dano and Chuseok. According to a Chinese custom, people refrained from using fire and ate cold food on this day. For this reason the day can also be referred to as Geumyeonil (Kor. 금연일, Chin. 禁烟日, lit. No Smoke Day), Suksik (Kor. 숙식, Chin. 熟食, lit. Cooked Food), or Naengjeol

Korean Seasonal Customs
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