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JangJungryong

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JangJungryong

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Day of Watching Small Stars

On the sixth day of the second lunar month, people in traditional Korea used to watch a group of small stars in the western sky and, based on their observations, tried to predict the outcome of harvest for the year ahead. The name of the day, jomsaenginal (Kor. 좀생이날), is a compound of the words jomsaengi (Kor. 좀생이) and nal (Kor.날). The former is used to designate the group of stars in the western sky, and the latter stands for “day.” The term jomsaengi and its variations, jomseong (Kor. 좀성) and

Korean Seasonal Customs

Lunar New Year’s Eve

Seotdal Geumeum (Kor. 섣달그믐) refers to the Lunar New Year’s Eve and is also known as Semit (Kor. 세밑, lit. year bottom), Nunsseop Seneun Nal (Kor. 눈썹 세는 날, lit. day when eyebrows turn white), Jeil (Kor. 제일, Chin. 除日, lit. day of riddance), Seje (Kor. 세제, Chin. 歲除, lit. year riddance), Sejin (Kor. 세진, Chin. 歲盡, lit. yearend), or Jeseok (Kor. 제석, Chin. 除夕). The name Jeseok, literally meaning an “evening of riddance, ” signifies the act of disposing of the old calendar and obtaining a new one. On thi

Korean Seasonal Customs

Old Year’s Bows

Mugeun sebae (Kor. 묵은세배, Chin. 묵은歲拜, lit. Old Year’s bows) refers to the custom of paying respect to family elders and relatives on Seotdal Geumeum (Kor. 섣달그믐, Lunar New Year’s Eve). One does this by bowing and thanking family members for their care and support during the past year. The practice is also known as gusebae (Kor. 구세배, Chin. 舊歲拜, lit. old year bows) or geumeum sebae (Kor. 그믐세배, Chin. 그믐歲拜, lit. year’s eve bows). It is related to the custom of paying respects to elders and ances

Korean Seasonal Customs

Gangneung Sacheon Hapyeong Dapgyo Nori

A folk custom played in Hapyeong-ri of Sacheon-myeon, Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province, every February 6th of the lunar calendar involving villagers cross the bridge in front of the Hapyeong Village as they wish for a good harvest. Gangneug Sacheon Hapyeong Dapgyo Nori commences with a darigut (a shamanic ritual for darijipgi) before a 5 m tall gate made of songari (pine tree branches) at the entrance of the bridge. The gate is a shamanic symbol that prevents misfortune. Every participant of the d

Korean Folk Arts

Gangneung Dano Festival

One of Korea’s major traditional folk festivals, Gangneung Danoje (Kor. 강릉 단오제, Chin. 江陵端午祭, Gangneung Dano Festival) is held in the Gangneung area on Dano (the fifth day of the fifth lunar month). The festival was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Treasure No. 13 by the Ministry of Culture in 1967 and as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on November 25, 2005. Gangneung Danoje comprises a number of ceremonies, among which a shamanic ritual call

Korean Seasonal Customs

Mouse Fire Game

Jwibul nori (Kor. 쥐불놀이, lit. mouse fire game) is a game related to the custom of setting fire to the edges of rice paddies and dry farming fields. This game is also referred to as seohwahui (Kor. 서화희, Chin. 鼠火戱) or hunseohwa (Kor. 훈서화, Chin. 燻鼠火), both names meaning “mouse fire merrymaking.” The purpose of setting fire to the field edges is to burn the grass and weeds thereby reducing insect damage to the crops. Following the burning of a stack of pine twigs known as daljip taeugi (Kor. 달집태우기, l

Korean Seasonal Customs

Myth of State Preceptor Shrine at Daegwallyeong

“Daegwallyeongguksadangsinhwa(Myth of State Preceptor Shrine at Daegwallyeong), ”orally transmitted in the regions around Gangneung, Gangwon Province, tells the story of Beomilguksa (State Preceptor Beomil, 810-889), a revered monk of Seon-sect Buddhism of late Silla, deified as the village deity Seonghwang, enshrined at the Guksadang Shrine at Daegwallyeong Pass. State Preceptor Beomil is worshipped around the eastern parts of Gangwon Province as guardian deity Seonghwang, enshrined at Guksadan

Korean Folk Literature

Gangneung Nongak

Village nongak (farmers’ music) handed down in the Gangneung region of Gangwon-do Province. The origin of Gangneung Nongak can be traced back to the song and dance of ancient harvest ceremonies (mucheonje). Mention of Gangneung Nongak can also be found in documents from the Joseon period. Seong Hyeon (成俔, 1439-1504), governor of Gangwon-do Province, in “Chagangneungdongheonun” (Kor. 차강릉동헌운, Chin. 次江陵東軒韻, lit. Verse on the Temporary Residence of the East Building in Gangneung), a collection of po

Korean Folk Arts

Gangneung Gwanno Gamyeongeuk

Masked dance-drama originally performed by government slaves in Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province. Masked dance-drama that was performed at the Dano festival on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month each year by gwanno, or local government slaves, in the Gangneung area of Gangwon-do Province during the Joseon Dynasty. Gangneung Gwanno Gamyeongeuk seems to have been performed mainly around Dano day on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. According to a 1966 report on designation of cultural her

Korean Folk Arts

General Gang Gam-chan

This legend, in different variations, depicts Gang Gam-chan (948-1031), the renowned military commander of Goryeo known as one of the three greatest generals in Korean history, as a supernatural hero. Gang’s mythical accomplishments are recorded in documents and publications including Bohanjip (Collection of Writings to Relieve Idleness) of Goryeo; Yongjaechonghwa (Assorted Writings of Yongjae) of early Joseon; and Haedongijeok (Extraordinary Lives from East of the Sea) of Joseon. Haedongijeok,

Korean Folk Literature
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