Shrine for Village Deity Seonghwang

Shrine for Village Deity Seonghwang

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Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Shamanic Shrine

Writer HwangRusi(黃縷詩)

Seonghwangsa is the shrine for worshipping the village deity Seonghwang, serving as the venue for village rites and shamanic rituals.

Seonghwangsa was a state shrine that was built on major mountains around the country, starting in late Goryeo (918-1392). In Joseon (1392-1910), provincial officials continued to officiate rituals at these shrines, but eventually villagers took over the rituals. One of the few seonghwangsa from history that still remain include one at Daegwallyeong, a mountain pass in Gangwon Province, and one on the Twelve-Pass Mountain Route in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province.

The Shrine for Seonghwang at Daegwallyeong is a wooden structure with a tiled roof, its Chinesecharacter signboard reading “城隍祠 (Seonghwangsa).” Inside is a tablet that reads “大關嶺國師城隍之神 (State Preceptor God of Daegwallyeong)” and a painting of the deity, depicted as a general on horseback, carrying a bow in his hand and a quiver on his back. A servant is holding the reins of the horse, and a pair of tigers guard the god at the side, their front legs stretched forward. The shrine is believed to be divine, with shamans from around the country still visiting everyday to hold rituals and to offer prayers.

The Shrine for Seonghwang at Uljin Twelve-Pass Mountain Route, located at the bottom of the mountain pass Joryeong (Saejae), is a wooden structure with a gabled roof, measuring 1 kan (6.6 m²) in area. This shrine served as a place of worship for peddlers traveling on this mountain route and also for enshrining the spirits of deceased peddlers. Inside the shrine stands a wooden tablet with the Chinese characters “鳥嶺城隍神位 (Tablet for Seonghwang Deity of Joryeong)” written in ink.

Worship services at seonghwangsa were held in spring and fall, officiated by a village elderly, the costs covered by harvest from communal rice paddies maintained for village rituals (widap). Sacrificial foods comprised wine, steamed rice, white rice cake, beef, and fruits, and the service was followed by the village ritual byeolsingut.

Shrine for Village Deity Seonghwang

Shrine for Village Deity Seonghwang
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Shamanic Shrine

Writer HwangRusi(黃縷詩)

Seonghwangsa is the shrine for worshipping the village deity Seonghwang, serving as the venue for village rites and shamanic rituals.

Seonghwangsa was a state shrine that was built on major mountains around the country, starting in late Goryeo (918-1392). In Joseon (1392-1910), provincial officials continued to officiate rituals at these shrines, but eventually villagers took over the rituals. One of the few seonghwangsa from history that still remain include one at Daegwallyeong, a mountain pass in Gangwon Province, and one on the Twelve-Pass Mountain Route in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province.

The Shrine for Seonghwang at Daegwallyeong is a wooden structure with a tiled roof, its Chinesecharacter signboard reading “城隍祠 (Seonghwangsa).” Inside is a tablet that reads “大關嶺國師城隍之神 (State Preceptor God of Daegwallyeong)” and a painting of the deity, depicted as a general on horseback, carrying a bow in his hand and a quiver on his back. A servant is holding the reins of the horse, and a pair of tigers guard the god at the side, their front legs stretched forward. The shrine is believed to be divine, with shamans from around the country still visiting everyday to hold rituals and to offer prayers.

The Shrine for Seonghwang at Uljin Twelve-Pass Mountain Route, located at the bottom of the mountain pass Joryeong (Saejae), is a wooden structure with a gabled roof, measuring 1 kan (6.6 m²) in area. This shrine served as a place of worship for peddlers traveling on this mountain route and also for enshrining the spirits of deceased peddlers. Inside the shrine stands a wooden tablet with the Chinese characters “鳥嶺城隍神位 (Tablet for Seonghwang Deity of Joryeong)” written in ink.

Worship services at seonghwangsa were held in spring and fall, officiated by a village elderly, the costs covered by harvest from communal rice paddies maintained for village rituals (widap). Sacrificial foods comprised wine, steamed rice, white rice cake, beef, and fruits, and the service was followed by the village ritual byeolsingut.