Gangneung Dano Festival(江陵端午祭)

Gangneung Dano Festival

Headword

강릉단오제 ( 江陵端午祭 , Gangneung Danoje )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Rites and Officiants

Writer HwangRusi(黃縷詩)

Gangneung Danoje is a communal festival that takes place on Dano (fifth day of the fifth lunar month) in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

Gangneung Danoje is held for the worship of Guksaseonghwang (State Preceptor God) and other deities related to Daegwallyeong Pass, including Guksayeoseonghwang (State Preceptor Goddess) and Sansin (Mountain God). Festivities include a Confucian memorial service, shamanic ritual, mask drama performance, and other folklore and markets, aimed at enhancing the communal spirit. Gangneung Danoje was designated by the government as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 13 on January 16, 1967, and on November 25, 2005, was proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The festival’s main deity of worship Guksaseonghwang is believed to be State Preceptor Beomil (810- 889) of late Silla who founded the temples Simboksa and Gulsansa. Beomil was born in the village of Haksan, now part of the city of Gangneung, where relics still remain that support the mystical traits related to the revered monk’s birth. Guksayeoseonghwang (State Preceptor Goddess) was a maiden from Gangneung with the last name Jeong, who was sent for by the village deity Seonghwang of Daegwallyeong to be taken as his wife, a tiger acting as the deity’s messenger. In downtown Gangneung today remain houses known as the childhood homes of the State Preceptor Goddess and Yeoseonghwang (Village Goddess), where rituals are held as part of Dano festivities. The fact that these deities originated from historical figures signifies the strong local identity of the festival. General Kim Yu-sin (595-673) of Silla, who unified the Three Kingdoms, is believed to have been deified as Sansin of Daegwallyeong, due to his time spent in Gangneung mastering his martial skills.

Preparations for Gangneung Danoje begin on the fifth day of the fourth lunar month with the brewing of the sacred wine (sinju) at Chilsadang, a government office building from Joseon dynasty, accompanied by a shamanic ritual to cleanse impurities (bujeonggut) and to pray for successful brewing. On the fifteenth, ritual officials, shamans and villagers climb up to Daegwallyeong Pass to hold a rite for Sansin and Guksaseonghwang, followed by a ritual for identifying a divine tree (sinmok), the sacred entity that symbolizes the State Preceptor God, and bring with them to the village a branch from the tree. The branch and the tablet for the State Preceptor God are kept together at the Shrine for the State Preceptor Goddess for a series of rituals leading up to the third day of the fifth lunar month, then enshrined. The main rituals of the festival begin on the evening of the third day of the fifth month. When the ritual for welcoming the spirits (yeongsinje) is over, the tablets and the divine tree branch are carried to the shamanic ritual venue set up in the Dano marketplace.

Main festivities continue until the seventh day, including memorial rites, shamanic rituals, mask dances and other designated cultural performances and folk games. In the mornings a Confucian ritual called jojeonje is held, participated by local dignitaries including the mayor of Gangneung as ritual officials. Shamanic rituals continue all day long, making up the main religious program of the festival, a celebration of comprehensive performing arts that encompasses farmers’ music, narrative song, dance, instrumental accompaniment and theatrical skits. The artistic elements of shamanic rites have greatly influenced Korea’s traditional performing arts, from music and dance to theater.

On the last evening of the festival, a ritual is held to send back the deities to their place, called songsinje. All props and flower decorations used in the festivities are burned and the festival wraps up with a ritual to pray for peace and prosperity for the villagers for the rest of the year.

Gangneung Dano Festival

Gangneung Dano Festival
Headword

강릉단오제 ( 江陵端午祭 , Gangneung Danoje )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Rites and Officiants

Writer HwangRusi(黃縷詩)

Gangneung Danoje is a communal festival that takes place on Dano (fifth day of the fifth lunar month) in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

Gangneung Danoje is held for the worship of Guksaseonghwang (State Preceptor God) and other deities related to Daegwallyeong Pass, including Guksayeoseonghwang (State Preceptor Goddess) and Sansin (Mountain God). Festivities include a Confucian memorial service, shamanic ritual, mask drama performance, and other folklore and markets, aimed at enhancing the communal spirit. Gangneung Danoje was designated by the government as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 13 on January 16, 1967, and on November 25, 2005, was proclaimed as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The festival’s main deity of worship Guksaseonghwang is believed to be State Preceptor Beomil (810- 889) of late Silla who founded the temples Simboksa and Gulsansa. Beomil was born in the village of Haksan, now part of the city of Gangneung, where relics still remain that support the mystical traits related to the revered monk’s birth. Guksayeoseonghwang (State Preceptor Goddess) was a maiden from Gangneung with the last name Jeong, who was sent for by the village deity Seonghwang of Daegwallyeong to be taken as his wife, a tiger acting as the deity’s messenger. In downtown Gangneung today remain houses known as the childhood homes of the State Preceptor Goddess and Yeoseonghwang (Village Goddess), where rituals are held as part of Dano festivities. The fact that these deities originated from historical figures signifies the strong local identity of the festival. General Kim Yu-sin (595-673) of Silla, who unified the Three Kingdoms, is believed to have been deified as Sansin of Daegwallyeong, due to his time spent in Gangneung mastering his martial skills.

Preparations for Gangneung Danoje begin on the fifth day of the fourth lunar month with the brewing of the sacred wine (sinju) at Chilsadang, a government office building from Joseon dynasty, accompanied by a shamanic ritual to cleanse impurities (bujeonggut) and to pray for successful brewing. On the fifteenth, ritual officials, shamans and villagers climb up to Daegwallyeong Pass to hold a rite for Sansin and Guksaseonghwang, followed by a ritual for identifying a divine tree (sinmok), the sacred entity that symbolizes the State Preceptor God, and bring with them to the village a branch from the tree. The branch and the tablet for the State Preceptor God are kept together at the Shrine for the State Preceptor Goddess for a series of rituals leading up to the third day of the fifth lunar month, then enshrined. The main rituals of the festival begin on the evening of the third day of the fifth month. When the ritual for welcoming the spirits (yeongsinje) is over, the tablets and the divine tree branch are carried to the shamanic ritual venue set up in the Dano marketplace.

Main festivities continue until the seventh day, including memorial rites, shamanic rituals, mask dances and other designated cultural performances and folk games. In the mornings a Confucian ritual called jojeonje is held, participated by local dignitaries including the mayor of Gangneung as ritual officials. Shamanic rituals continue all day long, making up the main religious program of the festival, a celebration of comprehensive performing arts that encompasses farmers’ music, narrative song, dance, instrumental accompaniment and theatrical skits. The artistic elements of shamanic rites have greatly influenced Korea’s traditional performing arts, from music and dance to theater.

On the last evening of the festival, a ritual is held to send back the deities to their place, called songsinje. All props and flower decorations used in the festivities are burned and the festival wraps up with a ritual to pray for peace and prosperity for the villagers for the rest of the year.