Rice(大米)

Rice

Headword

( 大米 , Ssal )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Ritual Offerings

Writer SeoHaesook(徐海淑)

Ssal (rice) is offered regularly to household gods, including Seongju (House Guardian Deity) and Teoju (Land Tutelary God).

In Korea, rice is the most important among grains, the most significant food source and agricultural product. Since ancient times rice has always been an object of worship in rice growing regions around the world and the tradition is preserved today in various forms. For example, rice serves as the medium when a childless woman receives blessing from the goddess of childbearing Samsin, a deity that is worshipped in the form of earthenware jars (danji) as sacred entities, which contain rice inside, called samsinssal, or rice for the goddess of childbearing. Rice, in other words, is perceived as the origin of life.

Rice is also enshrined inside sacred entities for the house guardian deity Seongju, and placed in various corners around the house as offerings to the household deities that oversee the fortunes of a home. Other uses include rice and other grains hung at the tip of rice stalk pole (byeotgaritdae) on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon); divination with rice that takes place at the end of shamanic rituals or rituals for household gods; and rice used to chase away evil spirits in wayfarer ghostrepelling rituals (gaekgwimulligi). Newly harvested rice is enshrined inside sacred entities in order to offer the season’s first reaping to the farming god. This signifies that the grains were in themselves objects of worship and reflects the wish for another good harvest in the following year. Replacing old grains with new crops is a ritual of rebirth, of sending off the old and greeting the new, a cyclical process of putting away the old grain gods and replacing them with the new gods.

Rice

Rice
Headword

( 大米 , Ssal )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Household Gods > Ritual Offerings

Writer SeoHaesook(徐海淑)

Ssal (rice) is offered regularly to household gods, including Seongju (House Guardian Deity) and Teoju (Land Tutelary God).

In Korea, rice is the most important among grains, the most significant food source and agricultural product. Since ancient times rice has always been an object of worship in rice growing regions around the world and the tradition is preserved today in various forms. For example, rice serves as the medium when a childless woman receives blessing from the goddess of childbearing Samsin, a deity that is worshipped in the form of earthenware jars (danji) as sacred entities, which contain rice inside, called samsinssal, or rice for the goddess of childbearing. Rice, in other words, is perceived as the origin of life.

Rice is also enshrined inside sacred entities for the house guardian deity Seongju, and placed in various corners around the house as offerings to the household deities that oversee the fortunes of a home. Other uses include rice and other grains hung at the tip of rice stalk pole (byeotgaritdae) on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon); divination with rice that takes place at the end of shamanic rituals or rituals for household gods; and rice used to chase away evil spirits in wayfarer ghostrepelling rituals (gaekgwimulligi). Newly harvested rice is enshrined inside sacred entities in order to offer the season’s first reaping to the farming god. This signifies that the grains were in themselves objects of worship and reflects the wish for another good harvest in the following year. Replacing old grains with new crops is a ritual of rebirth, of sending off the old and greeting the new, a cyclical process of putting away the old grain gods and replacing them with the new gods.