Traditional Culture

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Information as of 21 Feb, 2017

Royal Palace Changing of the Guards

Royal Palace Changing of the Guards

 

In the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910), the royal place gates were protected by units of gate guards whose duty was to guard the palace entrances and to open and close them according to a prearranged schedule. The Seoul Metropolitan Government restored the changing of the gate guard ceremony in 1996. This was done on the basis of research conducted by a group of experts, and since then the ceremony has been conducted on a daily basis. The changing of the gate guard ceremony is a spectacular event that is often compared to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

Royal Palace Changing of the Guards

Ceremony process Time Details
Gaesik tago 2 mins A ceremonial announcement of the Changing of the palace gate guards
Gunhohabu Ceremony 2 mins The Ministry of Military Affairs reports the day’s military password to the king and with the king’s consent sends it to the Royal Secretariat who, in turn, informs the gate guards of it.
Sulli Ceremony at Seoul Plaza 6 mins The palace guards patrol the palace grounds (i.e., from Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace to the Gwanghwamun Square (Bosingak (Belfry)))
  • Location :100-120 Deoksugung Palace, 99, Sejong-daero, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

Jongmyo Jerye (Ritual Conservation)

Jongmyo Jerye

Jongmyo Jerye

 

  • Jongmyo Jerye : Jongmyo is a shrine that enshrines the mortuary tablets of former kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty and that holds ancestral rituals. Jerye are the rituals that are held at Jongmyo shrine.
  • Jongmyo Jeryeak(Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Confucian Memorial Ceremony Music) : These are the music and dances that are performed during the Jongmyo Jerye.
  • Rituals used to be held five times a year. Currently, a ritual is held on the 1st Sunday in May every year according to the solar calendar.
  • A ceremonial rite is divided into a preparation process before the ritual, as well as the king’s procession leading to Jongmyo Shrine and the holding of a ritual.
  • It was designated as Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 56 in 1975, and listed as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001.
  • Since its designation as an international cultural event in 2006, the ritual is held the 1st Sunday in May every year.

Daily Ringing of the Bosingak Bell

Bosingak Bell

 

  • Bosingak (Belfry) : Bosingak is a belfry where a large bell, which has been designated as Treasure No. 2, had once been hung. It was rung 33 times in the morning (at about 4 am) to signal the end of the night curfew and that it was time to open the fortress gate and 28 times at night (at about 10 pm) to signal the closing of all the entrances into the capital.
  • Bosingak Bell : The original Bosingak Bell was made in 1468, which was the 14th year of King Sejo’s reign. It was to be hung in Wongaksa Temple but it was moved to Bosingak in 1619, which was the 11th year of King Gwanghaegun’s reign, after the temple had closed.
  • The turbulent history of the late Joseon Dynasty inflicted a lot of damage to the bell, eventually degrading it into a museum item in the National Museum of Korea. 
  • The bell that is currently hung in the belfry is one that was recently made via donations by citizens. 
  • It was hung in the bell house on August 14, 1985, and was first rung the following day in celebration of the 40th anniversary of National Liberation Day. 
  •  Daily Ringing of the Bosingak Bell 

    Application Period year round
    Eligibility no restriction
    Bell Striking Participation 4 people daily (group reservation available, prior inquiries)
    Selection Method first-come first-served
    Application Method Internet application