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01

Dokdo

Dokdo legends narrate the stories surrounding the eighty-nine islands in Dokdo-ri, part of the village of Ulleung, in Ulleung County, North Geyongsang Province. One of the legends related to Dokdo is“ Gumeongbawi (Hole Rock), ”about a rock located off the shore of Cheonbu Village, which was originally on the waters off Hyeonpo Village. An elderly villager with mighty powers tied up the rock to a boat and tried to take it to faraway waters. But the rock would not be pulled away, and the old man,

Korean Folk Literature

02

Iri Nongak

Nongak (farmers’ music) handed down mostly in Iksan, Jeollabuk-do Province. Iri Nongak largely has two lineages: one is the lineage of the Iri Nongak that has designated National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 11-3, and the other is the native nongak passed down in the Iksan area. Iksan is geographically located in the middle of the Honam Udo Nongak and Honam Jwado Nongak regions, while having mutual influence with Chungcheong Nongak via the Geumgang River. For this reason, Iksan Nongak has a

Korean Folk Arts

03

Prickly Castor-Oil Tree

Eomnamu, or prickly castor-oil tree, particularly its thorny branches, are used in Korean folk religion to chase away evil spirits and illnesses. Kalopanax septemlobus, common name prickly castor-oil tree, is a deciduous tree in the family Araliaceae, which grows around Korea, Japan and China. Its branches are prickly with thorns, believed to scare away evil spirits and diseases, and are hung over gates or room doors in homes at Seol (Lunar New Year). Another related custom is to take malaria pa

Korean Folk Beliefs

04

New Year’s Flag Greetings

Gisebae (Kor. 기세배, Chin. 旗歲拜, lit. New Year’s flag greetings) is a custom observed during Jeongwol Daeboreum (Kor. 정월대보름, Great Full Moon Festival) with the purpose of praying for an abundant harvest. As its name implies, the custom involves the use of flags that are referred to as nongsingi (Kor. 농신기, Chin. 農神旗, lit. farming god flag). Gisebae is also known under other names such as nonggi sebae (Kor. 농기세배, Chin. 農旗歲拜, lit. greetings of farming flags), nonggi bbaetgi (Kor. 농기뺏기, Chin. 農旗-, lit.

Korean Seasonal Customs

05

Dukkeobijip Jitgi Nori

A game making cave-shaped houses by placing and patting wet dirt or sand over the back of one hand, and then slowly trying to remove it. Also called, Moraejip Jitgi Nori, this iconic folk game of Korea has children making houses with dirt or sand. First, the player places wet dirt or sand on the back of one hand, and then pats the dirt with the other hand to mold it into a solid structure. The patting takes patience and attention since the hand below dirt needs to be remain still throughout the

Korean Folk Arts

06

Weaving Games

Gilssam nori (Kor. 길쌈놀이, lit. weaving game) refers to different kinds of entertainment enjoyed by Korean women in the past during weaving competitions. These competitions began early in the seventh lunar month and ended on Chuseok (Kor. 추석, Chin. 秋夕, Harvest Festival, the fifteenth of the eighth lunar month). The custom is also known as duresam (Kor. 두레삼), gilssam dure (Kor. 길쌈두레), gongdong jeongma (Kor. 공동적마, Chin. 共同績麻), and deulge (Kor. 들게), and included telling tales, dancing, singing, and p

Korean Seasonal Customs

07

Bride’s post-wedding journey to the groom’s home

Bride’s journey from her maiden home to the groom’s home, where she will spend the rest of her life, after marriage. The time of a bride’s departure for the groom’s home after marriage varies greatly. Some newly married women spent a year at home before going to live with her in-laws for the rest of her life (which is called muk-sinhaeng or haemugi), while others spend a month (dalmugi) or three days (samil-sinhaeng). When the bride moves to the groom’s home the same day as the wedding it is cal

Korean Rites of Passage