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Ancestral Household Deity

Sejon is a household god that originated from Buddhism and alternate versions of the name include Sijun and Siju. Following the introduction of Buddhism, Korea’s folk religion and Buddhism have had significant influence on each other in many different ways. As in the case of Jeseok, Sejon was originally a Buddhist term, Bhagavat in Sanskrit, referring to the most revered one, or Buddha himself, but has been worshipped as a household god in Korean folk belief. Sejon is an ancestral deity, that of

Korean Folk Beliefs

Ritual to Undo Harm on Ancestral Tomb

Sanbarammakgi, “keeping out tomb trouble, ” is a ritual for undoing a calamity in the home, believed to have been caused by the mishandling of an ancestral tomb. Sanbaram, or tomb trouble, is brought on to descendants by acts related to ancestral tombs on a year when such acts must be avoided, including digging up or moving a grave; erecting stone figures or elevated platforms; cutting down a tree or laying grass; or paving a road next to the grave. When an ancestral tomb needs to be moved due t

Korean Folk Beliefs

Autumn Rite

Gaeulgosa, meaning, “autumn rite, ” is a ritual for household gods held on an auspicious day in the tenth lunar month. Another term for this ritual is sangdalgosa, or ritual in the best month of the year (sangdal), the tenth lunar month, the date selected by a shaman or as indicated in the almanac. A day of the pig or a day of the horse is usually preferred for this ritual, more often the latter. This autumn rite is often observed as a village ritual, and individual households hold their private

Korean Folk Beliefs

Ritual for Village Gods

Dangsanje is a village ritual held in the South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces, to worship the various village gods and pray for peace and prosperity in the community. The term dangsanje is used in inland regions including Gwangju and South Jeolla Province, while in the coastal regions, similar rituals are called dangje. Rituals are held mostly in the first half of the first lunar month and on Jeongwoldaeboreum (Great Full Moon) around midnight, or on the fifteenth day of the tenth lunar

Korean Folk Beliefs

Earthenware Jar

Danji is an earthenware jar that is worshipped as a sacred entity enshringing a household god, or as the deity itself. These jars are small and round, bulging around the center, and their names vary according to the enshrined deity. Daegamdanji is the sacred entity for Daegamsin (State Official God), who oversees a family’s material fortune. This jar is usually enshrined in the grain shed, but sometimes in a corner of the inner chamber, the open hall, the kitchen, or outdoors in some cases. The

Korean Folk Beliefs
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