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Groom’s wedding journey

The groom’s procession to the bride’s house for the wedding ceremony. Chohaeng means the entire procession of the groom and his attendants to the bride’s house to hold daerye (Kor. 대례, Chin. 大禮, lit. grand wedding ceremony). The term chohaeng is the opposite of jaehang (Kor. 재행, Chin. 再行, the groom’s revisit to the bride’s place after returning to his own house [본가, 本家] after the wedding). Generally, chohaeng is referred to as “steps taken towards one’s first trip” or “taking a step for the firs

Korean Rites of Passage

Seunggyeongdo Nori

A folk game, where players compete to climb to the highest officer ranking on a board with past office positions on it by rolling a yunmok, or a die. Seunggyeongdo means a diagram of officer ranking. The game, itself, is a variation of Seungnamdonori, which helps people become familiar with the name of places and famous locations. In Seunggyeongdonori, players roll a die, or a yunmok (a long wooden pentagonal prism with a different number of marks on each side) and moves up to the higher ranks a

Korean Folk Arts

Erecting the Grain Pole

Byeotgaritdae (Kor. 볏가릿대, lit. grain pole) is a long pole with bags containing various grains such as rice, barley, millet and beans attached to its top. It is erected at a well, courtyard, or a cow shed during the Great Full Moon Festival (Jeongwol Daeboreum, Kor. 정월대보름) as a form of prayer for a good harvest. Widely interpreted as a symbol of Ujumok (Kor. 우주목, Chin. 宇宙木, lit. Tree of the Universe), the pole can also be referred to with words of Chinese origin, such as hwagan (Kor, 화간, Chin. 禾竿

Korean Seasonal Customs

Shamanic Ritual for Good Fortune

Jaesugut is a shamanic ritual held to pray for good fortune in the family including peace, prosperity and longevity. Jaesugut is the most basic ritual in Korean shamanism, and is also called cheonsingut, or new offerings ritual, held to offer the season’s new products to the gods. The format of this ritual served as the foundation on which myriad other rituals were developed by adding specific elements and characteristics. The goals of a good fortune ritual lie in the wellbeing of the living, as

Korean Folk Beliefs


An iconic children’s winter game spinning an inverted cone-shaped wooden top using a whip on flat ground or on ice. There is no official record of when Paengichigi began in Korea. According to the Nikon Shoki of Japan, published in 720 AD (the 19th year of King Seongdeok of Silla), Paengichigi was introduced to Japan from China through Silla, indicating the game’s potential popularity throughout and during the Three Kingdoms Period of Korea. Despite today’s tops being made by professional crafts

Korean Folk Arts


Shoes made of plants or straw such as rice straw, hemp, and cattails to protect the wearer’s feet. The types of straw shoes vary depending on material and use. By material, they are classified as jipsin (Kor. 집신, lit. straw shoes), made of rice straw; samsin, made of hemp; wanggolsin, made of sedge, which is an industrial crop; cheongolchisin, made of the twisted inner bark of kudzu vines; and budeulsin, made of cattails found growing in low swampy areas. Straw shoes made of sedge or hemp are m

Korean Clothing


High-quality shoes made with hemp, ramie, or rope. Mituri were also called samsin (lit. hemp shoes), and in other Chinese-character words they were also called mahye (hemp shoes), manghye (shoes made of barley silks), and seunghye (rope shoes). Finely made mituri were sometimes worn by members of the scholar-official class (sadaebu) when they went on an outing. Though they were of higher quality than straw shoes called jipsin, with the emergence of shoes made of leather or cloth mituri gradually

Korean Clothing

Land Tutelary God

Teoju, or Land Tutelary God, resides on the grounds of a house, overseeing peace in the family and safety on the grounds. This deity is also called Teojusin, Teojutdaegam (Land Tutelary Official God), Teojuhalmae (Land Tutelary Grandmother) and Jisin (Earth God), and is worshipped in the form of the sacred entity teojutgari, placed in the backyard or by the sauce jar terrace. Teojutgari is an earthenware jar filled with the best grains of rice among the first harvest of the fall, covered with a

Korean Folk Beliefs

Ritual for Wind God

Yeongdeunggosa is a ritual held on the first day of the second lunar month to pray to the wind goddess Yeongdeung for timely rain and steady wind for a good harvest and a big catch. The ritual is also called yeongdeungje or pungsinje, and the ritual for greeting the goddess Grandmother Yeongdeung is called yeongdeungmaji. Yeongdeung is generally worshipped privately by women, but also as a village deity in some coastal regions, and is also called Iwolhalmae (Second Month Grandmother). Records ab

Korean Folk Beliefs

Prayer for Conception

Gija, literally meaning “to pray for a child, ” refers to all forms of activity performed by a woman hoping for conception. Conception prayers were widely practiced throughout Joseon, based on the common desire to lead long, healthy lives in good fortune and prosperity by bearing a son, since in the Confucian mind, sons were more important than daughters as a means of continuing the lineage. Records of national progenitors, however, as seen in Samguksagi (Record of the Three Kingdoms) and Samgun

Korean Folk Beliefs

Snow Blast

Daeseol (Kor. 대설, Chin. 大雪, lit. big snow) is the twenty-first of the twenty-four solar terms; it follows Soseol (Kor. 소설, Chin. 小雪, First Snow), and precedes Dongji (Kor. 동지, Chin. 冬至, Winter Solstice). This day is supposed to be the time of the season’s largest snowfall. Although this may have been the case in the Heibei region of China where the traditional East Asian calendar system originated, the amount of snow is not necessarily greatest at this time on the Korean peninsula. Occurring som

Korean Seasonal Customs
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