Dongnae-gu Cultural Center from the port city Busan, displayed its ‘Dongnae Crane Dance’.
The dance portrays the elegant movements of the cranes that inhabit the area.
Goheung cultural center from Jeollanam-do province showed off its ‘Paper Money Dance’.
Recorded as one of Korean intangible cultural assets, this dance is usually seen in Korea’s southwestern Honam region.
Shamans in the region would dance with dozens of pieces of paper while praying for the dead to rest in peace.
And a team from Sunchang, Jeollabuk-do Province performed the marching song ‘Okcheon Village Daechwita ‘.
“Okcheon Village Daechwita uses Korean wind and string instruments and this marching song usually led the king’s parade in the past. The audience could find it meaningful to see how the old custom of the Goryeo dynasty is reproduced.”
There were also plenty of activities for visitors to get involved in, such as making lucky bags used on Seollal, the Lunar New Year, or making shoes out of ‘hanji’, a type of traditional Korean paper.
There was also a center where calligraphers write quotations of people who fought for Korean independence.
As well as attracting locals, the festival gave foreigners a chance to see less well-publicized aspects of traditional Korean culture.
“It’s interesting because all of these shamanistic rituals and shamanistic culture which you do not find in Asian countries anymore today, and as a Western guy I do not even know that it exists, or existed.”
People could also take part in traditional Korean folk games or playing a traditional Korean drum.
These performances give people a taste of the different cultural traditions of each corner of the country, and will perhaps inspire them to take a trip and explore a new part of Korea.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.
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