Bukcheong Lion Play(北靑獅子-)

Bukcheong Lion Play

Headword

북청사자놀음 ( 北靑獅子- , Bukcheong Saja Noreum )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JeonKyungwook(田耕旭)

Bukcheong Saja Noreum (Kor. 북청사자놀음, Chin. 北靑獅子-, lit. Bukcheong Lion Play) is a mask play performed on the Great Full Moon Day (the fifteenth of the first lunar month) in the Bukcheong-gun area of South Hamgyeong Province. In 1967 the performance was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 15. This dance drama was held in all villages within Bukcheong-gun’s jurisdiction, i.e. in eleven myeon and three eup. Prior to the festival between the fourth and fourteenth of the first lunar month, the troupe of performers wearing lion costumes would pay a visit to each home in the community. They would conduct an exorcism rite in which the lion character went around the house loudly ringing his bell in all its nooks and crannies in order to chase away evil spirits. The proceedings were similar to those of maegwi (Kor. 매귀, Chin. 埋鬼), the part of the exorcism rite known as narye (Kor. 나례, Chin. 儺禮). As a token of gratitude for the exorcism, the household offered some grain to the troupe. On the sixteenth of the month, members of the troupe would calculate how much grain they had collected and would compare that with their expenses for the performances.

The main goal of Bukcheong Saja Noreum was to eliminate evil spirits and thus ensure a trouble-free year. The biggest lion performance was the highlight of the Jeongwol Daeboreum (Kor. 정월대보름, Great Full Moon Festival) since in popular symbolism the lion represents a beast having the power of exorcism. Aside from ensuring safety and peace in the community, Bukcheong Saja Noreum produced other benefits. There was a common belief that children who were mounted on the lion would have a long and healthy life. Keeping a tuft of fur from the lion was also thought to help prolong life. Since all performers were villagers, the annual performances also functioned as a way to strengthen solidarity and promote cooperation among community members.

Bukcheong Lion Play

Bukcheong Lion Play
Headword

북청사자놀음 ( 北靑獅子- , Bukcheong Saja Noreum )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Seasonal Customs > January > 1st Lunarmonth > Seasonal Holidays

Writer JeonKyungwook(田耕旭)

Bukcheong Saja Noreum (Kor. 북청사자놀음, Chin. 北靑獅子-, lit. Bukcheong Lion Play) is a mask play performed on the Great Full Moon Day (the fifteenth of the first lunar month) in the Bukcheong-gun area of South Hamgyeong Province. In 1967 the performance was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 15. This dance drama was held in all villages within Bukcheong-gun’s jurisdiction, i.e. in eleven myeon and three eup. Prior to the festival between the fourth and fourteenth of the first lunar month, the troupe of performers wearing lion costumes would pay a visit to each home in the community. They would conduct an exorcism rite in which the lion character went around the house loudly ringing his bell in all its nooks and crannies in order to chase away evil spirits. The proceedings were similar to those of maegwi (Kor. 매귀, Chin. 埋鬼), the part of the exorcism rite known as narye (Kor. 나례, Chin. 儺禮). As a token of gratitude for the exorcism, the household offered some grain to the troupe. On the sixteenth of the month, members of the troupe would calculate how much grain they had collected and would compare that with their expenses for the performances.

The main goal of Bukcheong Saja Noreum was to eliminate evil spirits and thus ensure a trouble-free year. The biggest lion performance was the highlight of the Jeongwol Daeboreum (Kor. 정월대보름, Great Full Moon Festival) since in popular symbolism the lion represents a beast having the power of exorcism. Aside from ensuring safety and peace in the community, Bukcheong Saja Noreum produced other benefits. There was a common belief that children who were mounted on the lion would have a long and healthy life. Keeping a tuft of fur from the lion was also thought to help prolong life. Since all performers were villagers, the annual performances also functioned as a way to strengthen solidarity and promote cooperation among community members.