Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins(风俗来历传说)

Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins

Headword

풍속유래전설 ( 风俗来历传说 , Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

This category of legends narrates the origins of folk customs, including seasonal customs.

Legends are accompanied by specific evidences that support their verity, which contribute greatly to the believability of the tales. Most narratives associated with the origins of folk customs were formed on the basis of the customs, with the legends expanding the basis of the customs.

These legends are set in a specific place and region, and are supported by evidences that are not always historical but also natural, including constellations, rain and wind. Some examples are tales about Chirwolchilseok (Seventh Day of the Seventh Lunar Month), involving Gyeonu (Cowherd) and Jiknyeo (Weaver Girl), and Taejongu (Rain on King Taejong’s Memorial). According to Dongguksesigi (A Record of the Seasonal Customs of the Eastern Kingdom), Joseon’s King Taejong died on the tenth day of the fifth lunar month, and it always rains on this day. On his deathbed, Taejong had told his son Sejong, “We have been experiencing severe drought, and even in death, I shall bring rain on this day in times of drought, ” and as promised, there was always rain on this day.

Many other legends about folk customs are documented in books, including the tale of sondolbaram, cold harsh winds that blow around the twentieth day of the tenth lunar month. While this legend is of Korean origin, many legends transmitted as part of written literature originated from China, including the legend of Jie Zitui and the origins of hansik, or the cold food feast; the legend about red bean porridge on winter solstice; the tale of Gyeonu (Cowherd) and Jiknyeo (Weaver Girl); and the tale of Danohyang.

Some are based on historical origins that date back to the Goryeo dynasty, including the legends related to the ritual for village tutelary spirit (byeolsingut) from Hahoe, the folk game notdaribapgi (human bridge crossing) on Grand Full Moon; and chajeonnori, or carriage battle. The legend about the custom of juldarigi (tug-of-war) in the village of Gijisi is related to traditional geomancy, which are quite common in villages where the communal ritual dongje is held.

These legends add authenticity to folk customs, helping to build social conventions around them. For example, the tale of sondolbaram is associated with the fishermen’s practice of avoiding the sea when harsh wind blows on the tenth lunar month, and the legend about the Hahoe ritual mask dance persuades the people of the necessity of the folk custom.

Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins

Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins
Headword

풍속유래전설 ( 风俗来历传说 , Legends of Folk Customs and Their Origins )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KimMyungja(金明子)

This category of legends narrates the origins of folk customs, including seasonal customs.

Legends are accompanied by specific evidences that support their verity, which contribute greatly to the believability of the tales. Most narratives associated with the origins of folk customs were formed on the basis of the customs, with the legends expanding the basis of the customs.

These legends are set in a specific place and region, and are supported by evidences that are not always historical but also natural, including constellations, rain and wind. Some examples are tales about Chirwolchilseok (Seventh Day of the Seventh Lunar Month), involving Gyeonu (Cowherd) and Jiknyeo (Weaver Girl), and Taejongu (Rain on King Taejong’s Memorial). According to Dongguksesigi (A Record of the Seasonal Customs of the Eastern Kingdom), Joseon’s King Taejong died on the tenth day of the fifth lunar month, and it always rains on this day. On his deathbed, Taejong had told his son Sejong, “We have been experiencing severe drought, and even in death, I shall bring rain on this day in times of drought, ” and as promised, there was always rain on this day.

Many other legends about folk customs are documented in books, including the tale of sondolbaram, cold harsh winds that blow around the twentieth day of the tenth lunar month. While this legend is of Korean origin, many legends transmitted as part of written literature originated from China, including the legend of Jie Zitui and the origins of hansik, or the cold food feast; the legend about red bean porridge on winter solstice; the tale of Gyeonu (Cowherd) and Jiknyeo (Weaver Girl); and the tale of Danohyang.

Some are based on historical origins that date back to the Goryeo dynasty, including the legends related to the ritual for village tutelary spirit (byeolsingut) from Hahoe, the folk game notdaribapgi (human bridge crossing) on Grand Full Moon; and chajeonnori, or carriage battle. The legend about the custom of juldarigi (tug-of-war) in the village of Gijisi is related to traditional geomancy, which are quite common in villages where the communal ritual dongje is held.

These legends add authenticity to folk customs, helping to build social conventions around them. For example, the tale of sondolbaram is associated with the fishermen’s practice of avoiding the sea when harsh wind blows on the tenth lunar month, and the legend about the Hahoe ritual mask dance persuades the people of the necessity of the folk custom.