Replanting Grass on Burial Mounds(改莎草)

Replanting Grass on Burial Mounds

Headword

개사초 ( 改莎草 , Gaesacho )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer SeoYoungdae(徐永大)

One of the main customs on Hansik (Kor. 한식, Chin. 寒食, Cold Food Day) is refurbishing ancestral tombs by adding dirt and replanting grass on the parts of the mound which have been broken off or eroded away. This custom, dating back to the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), became a common practice during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and is still observed nationwide.

According to the “Sangnye Pyeonnam” (Kor. 상례편람, Chin. 喪禮便覽, Funeral Manual, 1844) and the “Sarye Holgi” (Kor. 사례홀기, Chin. 四禮笏記, Procedures of Four Major Family Ceremonies, 1904), two volumes on ritualistic procedures of the late Joseon, refurbishing a burial mound involved three different steps. First, the person buried in the tomb was informed about the intended work through a rite called gaesa chogoje (Kor. 개사초고제, Chin. 改莎草告祭). Secondly, the god of the land was notified. After new patches of grass were added to the mound, another rite called wian myoje (Kor. 위안묘제, Chin. 慰安墓祭) was performed to comfort the soul of the deceased whose peace had been disturbed by the commotion. In modern Korea, however, these ceremonial steps are generally skipped. Replanting the grass on the tombs usually takes place on Hansik or Cheongmyeong (Kor. 청명, Chin. 淸明, Day of Pure Brightness) because both days occur in the season when grass flourishes. In addition, both Hansik and Cheongmyeong are believed to be auspicious, with anything done on these days turning out well.

Replanting Grass on Burial Mounds

Replanting Grass on Burial Mounds
Headword

개사초 ( 改莎草 , Gaesacho )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > Spring > 3rd Lunar month > Seasonal Holidays

Writer SeoYoungdae(徐永大)

One of the main customs on Hansik (Kor. 한식, Chin. 寒食, Cold Food Day) is refurbishing ancestral tombs by adding dirt and replanting grass on the parts of the mound which have been broken off or eroded away. This custom, dating back to the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392), became a common practice during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and is still observed nationwide.

According to the “Sangnye Pyeonnam” (Kor. 상례편람, Chin. 喪禮便覽, Funeral Manual, 1844) and the “Sarye Holgi” (Kor. 사례홀기, Chin. 四禮笏記, Procedures of Four Major Family Ceremonies, 1904), two volumes on ritualistic procedures of the late Joseon, refurbishing a burial mound involved three different steps. First, the person buried in the tomb was informed about the intended work through a rite called gaesa chogoje (Kor. 개사초고제, Chin. 改莎草告祭). Secondly, the god of the land was notified. After new patches of grass were added to the mound, another rite called wian myoje (Kor. 위안묘제, Chin. 慰安墓祭) was performed to comfort the soul of the deceased whose peace had been disturbed by the commotion. In modern Korea, however, these ceremonial steps are generally skipped. Replanting the grass on the tombs usually takes place on Hansik or Cheongmyeong (Kor. 청명, Chin. 淸明, Day of Pure Brightness) because both days occur in the season when grass flourishes. In addition, both Hansik and Cheongmyeong are believed to be auspicious, with anything done on these days turning out well.