Ritual Wine(祭主)

Ritual Wine

Headword

제주 ( 祭主 , Jeju )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Concept

Writer KimSangbo(金尙寶)

Jeju, or ritual wine, is the term for wine that is poured on the ground or offered to the gods in the course of a ritual.

In ancient times, people were mystified by the intoxicating capacities of the bubbly substance acquired through natural alcohol fermentation and believed it possessed sorcery powers. When the ritual officiant became drunk, they believed that the spirit had descended on his body. Intoxicated rapture was perceived as an act of communicating with the gods. Wine, therefore, came to be viewed as a sacred medium that connects humans with the gods, and this belief was reflected in ritual or banquet procedures, of the officiant or host holding a rite to worship the earth.

Grain wines are generally used for rituals. In Confucian-style village tutelary festivals (dongje), clear refined rice wine is used, while in communal shamanic rites including byeolsingut, danggut and dodanggut coarse unrefined rice wine is offered.

Wine offered in mountain god rituals (sansinje), dragon king rituals (yongwangje) and the rite for the tutelary spirit of Eunsan (Eunsan Byeolsinje) is called jorasul and is prepared through a special process. The ritual official in charge of brewing the wine blocks impurities from his home by hanging a taboo rope (geumjul) and scattering red clay (hwangto) from the mountain behind the village several days prior to the ritual. Only after these procedures are complete, he performs ablutions and brews the wine. On the day of the ritual, the wine jar is opened for libation. When the ritual is over, participants consume the wine and the sacrificial foods (eumbok), to share the sacredness amongst them.

Ritual Wine

Ritual Wine
Headword

제주 ( 祭主 , Jeju )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Worship of Village Gods > Concept

Writer KimSangbo(金尙寶)

Jeju, or ritual wine, is the term for wine that is poured on the ground or offered to the gods in the course of a ritual.

In ancient times, people were mystified by the intoxicating capacities of the bubbly substance acquired through natural alcohol fermentation and believed it possessed sorcery powers. When the ritual officiant became drunk, they believed that the spirit had descended on his body. Intoxicated rapture was perceived as an act of communicating with the gods. Wine, therefore, came to be viewed as a sacred medium that connects humans with the gods, and this belief was reflected in ritual or banquet procedures, of the officiant or host holding a rite to worship the earth.

Grain wines are generally used for rituals. In Confucian-style village tutelary festivals (dongje), clear refined rice wine is used, while in communal shamanic rites including byeolsingut, danggut and dodanggut coarse unrefined rice wine is offered.

Wine offered in mountain god rituals (sansinje), dragon king rituals (yongwangje) and the rite for the tutelary spirit of Eunsan (Eunsan Byeolsinje) is called jorasul and is prepared through a special process. The ritual official in charge of brewing the wine blocks impurities from his home by hanging a taboo rope (geumjul) and scattering red clay (hwangto) from the mountain behind the village several days prior to the ritual. Only after these procedures are complete, he performs ablutions and brews the wine. On the day of the ritual, the wine jar is opened for libation. When the ritual is over, participants consume the wine and the sacrificial foods (eumbok), to share the sacredness amongst them.