Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Jeongwol Daeboreum at the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center

Allies of Gye-dong
Saturday brought us to this lovely festival offered by the Seoul government. I didn't see much advertisement for it on any major websites, but saw a snippet of information on the Josun Ilbo. A couple of us decided to head over to the festival to see what it was all about. Well worth the trip.
Jeongwol Daeboreum is the festival for the first full moon of the New Year. There are a lot of traditions and festivities aligned with this holiday and we got to engage and actively participate in them. According to the Chosun Ilbo, over a quarter of Korea's 192 seasonal festivals are celebrated during Daeboreum, including "ganggangsullae, a circle dance symbolizing unity and cooperation between people; jwibul-nori, a traditional game that involves spinning a tin with fire inside to wish for a good harvest; bridge-crossing, a rite where people cross a bridge once for every year of their lives to guard against afflictions of the legs; and the burning of small effigies called Daljib, or "Moon Houses," made of wooden twigs wrapped with handwritten wishes calling for good luck and good health."
Another peculiar custom is the drinking of cold alcohol for ear health and hearing good news throughout the year. As a news reporter enjoyed capturing footage of us foreigners enjoying Korean culture, we drank a delicious aperitif and now hope that this year brings us good news. The Bukchon Traditional Culture Center also presented us with a feast of traditional foods served during Daeboreum, all of which had cultural significance which I have since forgotten.

Interestingly, dogs were not fed traditionally on Daeboregum because it was believed that if they ate on this day they could contract gadflies and get sick during the summer. ㅜ ㅜ
The location itself was superb. Bukchon Traditional Culture Center is located in Gye-dong, which is an area full of traditional hanok-style housing. Wandering around the alleys at sunset was beautiful, and would have been a great time to take pictures if my hands weren't so cold. Although I am more of a busy city type of person, Gye-dong's quietude was appealing as well as its numerous cafes and Italian restaurants. Like its neighbor, Samcheon-dong, I'm sure Gye-dong housing is ridiculously pricey. A boy can dream.
Pretty great gutter

No comments:

Post a Comment