Origin of Five-Grains

Origin of Five-Grains

Headword

오곡밥 유래 ( Ogokbap )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

The legend “Ogokbap” narrates the origin of the custom of eating steamed five grains on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Grand Full Moon), the first full moon of the year.

Earliest record of this custom, which dates back to Silla, can be found in the section on “Sageumgap (The King Shoots an Arrow into the Zither Case)” in the chapter “Giyi (Records of Marvels)” of Samgyungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). In the book, the dish is referred to as chalbap, meaning “sticky rice, ” and the term ogokbap, or five-grain rice, is believed to have been coined in later years.

King Bicheo, the 21st ruler of Silla, also called King Soji, travelled to the pavilion Cheoncheonjeong in the year Mujin, his 10th year of reign (488). At the pavilion, a crow and a rat came by, cawing and squeaking, and the rat instructed that they should follow the crow. The king ordered a knight to follow, and the crow reached Pichon (eastern skirt of Mt. Namsan in today’s Gyeongju) in the south, where the knight saw two pigs fighting, and while he watched, he lost sight of the crow. He was wandering on the road when an old man emerged from a pond and handed him a letter. On the envelope it was written: “If you open it two people shall die, and if you do not open it, one person shall die.” The messenger took the letter to the king, who said, “One person dying is better than two.” The king’s divination official, however, said, “Two people refer to subjects, but one person refers to the king.” The king accepted the interpretation and opened the envelope, to find a message that read, “Shoot the zither case.” When the king returned to the palace, he shot the zither case, which killed the queen and a meditating monk inside the case, who were involved in an affair. Since this incident, each year across the kingdom on the first day of the pig, the first day of the rat, and the first day of the horse in the first lunar month, a custom of discretion is observed in all facets of life. And the fifteenth day of the first month was designated as Ogiil (Crow Commemoration Day), observed with a ritual offering sticky rice as sacrifice. The day is also called Daldo, which means concern and prohibition.

A bowl of steamed five grains is a traditional dish eaten on Grand Full Moon. The dish also signifies extra nutrition for the cold weather and anticipation of a good harvest.

Origin of Five-Grains

Origin of Five-Grains
Headword

오곡밥 유래 ( Ogokbap )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

The legend “Ogokbap” narrates the origin of the custom of eating steamed five grains on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Grand Full Moon), the first full moon of the year.

Earliest record of this custom, which dates back to Silla, can be found in the section on “Sageumgap (The King Shoots an Arrow into the Zither Case)” in the chapter “Giyi (Records of Marvels)” of Samgyungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). In the book, the dish is referred to as chalbap, meaning “sticky rice, ” and the term ogokbap, or five-grain rice, is believed to have been coined in later years.

King Bicheo, the 21st ruler of Silla, also called King Soji, travelled to the pavilion Cheoncheonjeong in the year Mujin, his 10th year of reign (488). At the pavilion, a crow and a rat came by, cawing and squeaking, and the rat instructed that they should follow the crow. The king ordered a knight to follow, and the crow reached Pichon (eastern skirt of Mt. Namsan in today’s Gyeongju) in the south, where the knight saw two pigs fighting, and while he watched, he lost sight of the crow. He was wandering on the road when an old man emerged from a pond and handed him a letter. On the envelope it was written: “If you open it two people shall die, and if you do not open it, one person shall die.” The messenger took the letter to the king, who said, “One person dying is better than two.” The king’s divination official, however, said, “Two people refer to subjects, but one person refers to the king.” The king accepted the interpretation and opened the envelope, to find a message that read, “Shoot the zither case.” When the king returned to the palace, he shot the zither case, which killed the queen and a meditating monk inside the case, who were involved in an affair. Since this incident, each year across the kingdom on the first day of the pig, the first day of the rat, and the first day of the horse in the first lunar month, a custom of discretion is observed in all facets of life. And the fifteenth day of the first month was designated as Ogiil (Crow Commemoration Day), observed with a ritual offering sticky rice as sacrifice. The day is also called Daldo, which means concern and prohibition.

A bowl of steamed five grains is a traditional dish eaten on Grand Full Moon. The dish also signifies extra nutrition for the cold weather and anticipation of a good harvest.