The Changing of the Royal Guard, which is reenacted three times a day (except Mondays), in front of Deoksugung (Palace), is drawing popularity from domestic and foreign tourists with its colorful costumes and swirling music.
In the wake of the spring season, when the number of people walking outside is rising, the parade is adding four horses with mounted royal guards in collaboration with the Seoul Metropolitan Policy Agency. The mounted royal guards will perform the ‘Sulla’ parade, a reenactment of the patrol of the royal guards from Deoksugung to Bosingak (Belfry), at 11:00 a.m. every Tuesday. The parade is performed to Gwanghwamun Square at 3:30 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.
To offer a wide range of attractions to the Changing of the Royal Guard, there is also a traditional ‘character performance’. Among the other events are ‘wearing traditional Korean costumes,’ ‘taking a commemorative photograph’ and ‘playing a big drum.’ Such events are expected to bring a unique sense of pleasure to the many tourists at Deoksugung.
About the Changing of the Royal Guard
There was a military unit called ‘Sumungun,’ which was in charge of opening, closing, guarding and patrolling the gates of the palaces during the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul City reenacted the ceremonial changing of the gateway soldiers based on expert historical research and has performed the ceremony since 1996. Comparable to the ceremonial changing of the guards at Britain’s Buckingham Palace, Seoul City has touted the ceremony as a reenactment of Korea’s traditional palace culture.
Changing of the Royal Guard at Deoksugung
Sulla parade of mounted royal guards