Thursday, February 17, 2011

Enjoy Korean traditions and folk games on Jeongwol Daeboreum

Jeongwol Daeboreum, the first full moon of the lunar calendar, is one of the biggest traditional holidays celebrated across Korea. On this occasion, has selected two events where residents and visitors can enjoy this cherished Korean holiday.

2011 Dalmaji Festival at Namsangol Hanok Village

Namsangol Hanok Village is holding the 2011 Dalmaji Festival starting at noon on February 17, featuring a wide range of traditional folk games as well as participatory cultural events including kite flying (5,000 won) and traditional mask making (3,000 won). "Dalmaji," or "moon greeting," is one of the most important aspects of the holiday.

The daljib, a huge, cone-shaped bonfire made of dry straw, is scheduled to be lit at 6 p.m. to coincide with moonrise, and is the highlight of the festival. The tradition of burning daljip originated from farmers praying for good harvests. Messages of New Year’s wishes for prosperity are written out by participants and burned along with the straw.

This year, the city of Seoul has gathered different wishes via twitter (@hanokmaeul) in advance. Anyone interested in being part of the event can join, submitting a wish free of charge.

Visitors can also experience other Korean traditional culture practices for Jeongwol Daeboreum, such as cracking nuts and drinking “gwibalgisul,” or “ear-quickening wine.”

At this inaugural event, organized by the district office, attendees will have the chance to experience Korean folk games like yutnori (a traditional board game played with marked sticks instead of dice) and jegichagi (a game where players try to keep a feathered shuttlecock aloft by kicking it), along with the ganggangsullae, a Korean traditional dance. It is also a rare opportunity to enjoy a mix of traditional and modern performances, including traditional percussion music called samulnori and the non-verbal musical, Nanta.

The event is open to Yongsan-gu residents and foreign nationals. There will be an information booth installed at the plaza where you can learn more about Jeongwol Daeboreum and its origins.

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