Jongmyo Daeje Royal Procession
The memorial day service for all the Joseon kings
We visited Jongmyo recently which is the Royal Ancestral Shrine for the Joseon dynasty. Visitors usually have to pay an entry fee and visit the shrine in an organised tour. But on Sunday it was open to the public for the yearly memorial ceremony. I usually avoid any event in Seoul where there will be loads of people because I can’t handle large crowds. But the Jongmyo Daejo was the biggest and most important memorial rite held for royalty during the Joseon dynasty. And the ceremony is still held every year on the first Sunday in May (and once again in November), so although I wasn’t sure how much of the ceremony we would be able to see, we headed downtown where the procession began at 11:30 am from Gyeongbokgung Palace. Continue reading “Sunday May 6 was Jongmyo Daeje” »
It’s Hangul day today (Sun Oct 9) so we went over to Gyeungbokgung (palace) where there were some events taking place. In front of the palace is a statue of King Sejong (left) along with some of his inventions and there were plenty of people around taking photos of each other under the statue. The hangul museum is here too and today there was a hangul writing event and foreigners were also encouraged to write their names and countries for the wall display. (see below)
Continue reading “Hangul Day” »
So the sageuk drama Deep Rooted Tree ( a murder mystery set in the weeks before the creation of Hangul) starts tomorrow (Oct 5) and a few days later it’s Hangul Day. (Oct 9) Surely this is not a coincidence? There are lots of events coming up next week for Hangul Day (see below) including calligraphy competitions and exhibitions so this is the time of year when I always kick myself for not going to my calligraphy class! I love the idea of doing magnificent Hangul calligraphy but I suppose I just don’t have the perseverance to keep going. But maybe I’ll be inspired watching this drama… Continue reading “Hangul Day Calligraphy Contest (Oct 9)” »
It’s a bank holiday weekend so the flags are out in the neighbourhood today. Saturday (Oct 1) was Armed Forces Day 국군의 날 (Gukgun-ui-nal) and it’s National Foundation Day 개천절 (Gaecheonjeol) today (Oct 3) – the day that celebrates the creation of ancient Korea – Gojoseon.
Traditionally, people wear hanbok during Chuseok and even the SBS news readers were wearing their traditional dress on the 8PM news last night. It’s more common to see women in hanbok than men, and this news reader said that this is the first time he has worn a hanbok in 17 years! I didn’t see anyone wearing hanbok on the other TV channels though.
SBS news 8PM September 12th 2011
It’s the final day of the Chuseok holiday today, so everything goes back to normal tomorrow. There’ll be traffic jams coming back to Seoul as everyone returns from their trips around the country to visit family. Lots of the local shops have been closed for the holidays. Our local family-run bakery was closed for the first time in ages – they are usually open 7 days a week. But our local corner shop was open and they said they weren’t going away this year. For people who don’t have family (or don’t want to see their family) Chuseok can be a lonely time. According to the news, hotels in Seoul are full of single guests during the Chuseok holiday – people who don’t want to stay at home by themselves so check in to a hotel instead. I suppose it’s similar to Christmas or New Year for me. I like spending time alone but definitely not on Christmas Day or New Years Eve!
This morning I watched some of 도전1000곡 (to-cheon 1000 kok) which is a kind of karaoke singing competition for ‘talent’ on SBS. Actors and entertainers take turns to choose a number which is then put into the karaoke machine. After that, the celebrities have to sing whichever song starts playing. (You need to know a lot of songs to be good at this!) Continue reading “Chuseok TV” »