National Folk Museum offers fun for Seollal Lunar New Year holidays
The National Folk Museum of Korea will begin its Seollal Lunar New Year holiday program with a performance of some nongak farmer’s music. Museum visitors can join in and have fun during the performance.
Tteokguk rice cake, the deep sebae bow down to your hands and knees, colorful Hanbok traditional attire, the yunnori board game and flying the yeonnaligi kite.
These are some of the popular folk activities in which you can take part on Seollal Lunar New Year’s Day, the biggest traditional holiday in Korea.
If you’re looking for a place where the whole family can have fun and see folk traditions first-hand, head to the National Folk Museum of Korea.
The National Folk Museum of Korea will host a series of special events as part of its “2017 Seol Festival For the Year of the Rooster — The Rooster, Welcoming the New Dawn.” It T will be held during the Seollal Lunar New Year holidays which fall from Jan. 27 to 30 this year. The festival is composed of two parts: the Lunar New Year Grand Festival part, and then The Elegance, Taste of Gangwon-do Province part, in a wish for a successful hosting of the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games next year.
A boy flies his kite at the National Folk Museum of Korea as part of the museum’s Seollal festival last year. During the Seollal Lunar New Year’s activities, museum-goers will be able to play many of Korea’s traditional games.
The Seollal Lunar New Year events will begin with some exciting and joyful nongak farmer’s music to celebrate the Seollal Lunar New Year on Jan. 27 and 28. The nongak performers will perform “Binary” (비나리), a prayer song that wards off evil spirits throughout the year, a jisin bapgi (지신밟기), a musical prayer ritual to the god of the earth for happiness and good health, and a pan gut (판굿), a type of shamanic religious ritual performed in one’s yard. Anyone can join in the nongak performance, which will be held in front of the museum. Visitors can also sample some popular Seollal cuisines, such as tteokguk rice cake soup, garaetteok rice cake sticks and hangwa traditional sweet snacks.
The National Folk Museum of Korea will host various folk activities during the four-day Seollal Lunar New Year Day festival from Jan. 27 to 30. In the photo, children enjoy making bokjumeoni fortune pouches (복주머니).
Visitors to the National Folk Museum of Korea can also experience traditional activities that used to be performed on Seollal, such as setting a charye table for ritual offerings, conducting the sebae bow to your hands and knees, and wearing colorful Hanbok. In front of the museum, visitors can have fun making traditional items, such as kites, bokjori bamboo strainers, bokjumeoni fortune pouches, and daenggi traditional ribbons.
Another popular event is having your fortune told. At this year’s event, two fortune tellers will be invited to tell visitors about their destiny in the new year. If you like the yunnori board game, try some fortune telling with the game, as the museum will have a booth where people can learn about their destiny through the yunnori tossed sticks.
The Children’s Museum will also host a range of holiday events. As this year is the year of the rooster, visitors will be able to print a drawing of a rooster and make a rooster of their own out of traditional Hanji mulberry paper. Kids or kids at heart can also have fun playing folk games, such as tuho arrow throwing, jegi chagi shuttlecock kicking or paengi chigi top-spinning. There will also be the yunnori board game. People can also participate in a quiz for extra fun.
On Jan. 29 and 30, the museum will host a special event about Gangwon-do Province. Museum visitors can have fun trying local specialties from the province, such as memil mukbap rice with buckwheat jelly salad (메밀묵밥) and the delicious gangnaengi corn snack (강냉이). They will also be able to learn more about local folk traditions, such as Gangneung’s nongak, Jeongseon’s version of the song “Arirang” (정선아리랑), and the Gwanno Mask Dance.
The museum will also run a series of multicultural promotional programs. In front of the Children’s Museum on Seollal Lunar New Year’s Day, a special booth will be set up to introduce traditional meals on that day from Korea, China and Japan. Visitors can taste traditional rice cakes for the Chinese Spring Festival, some bingtanghulu, a traditional Chinese snack of candied fruit, and Japanese Lunar New Year’s foods such as osechi and kagamimochi. For overseas visitors, the museum will offer post cards with folk paintings of a rooster and other genre paintings so that visitors can write and send their own stories on postcards to anywhere in the world.
Director of the National Folk Museum of Korea Cheon Jingi hopes that many people will come to the museum to enjoy its planned activities for the Seollal Lunar New Year holidays, and to enjoy the food and fun of Gangwon-do Province.
Museum Director Cheon Jingi said in a press briefing on Jan. 18 that, “I hope many families can visit the museum and enjoy a delightful Seollal folk experience that pleases the eyes, mouths and ears of all.”
“Due to rapid changes these days and compared to the past, not many homes have an opportunity to enjoy our folk customs and the traditions of Seollal Lunar New Year’s Day,” said the director.
“In a wish for the successful hosting of the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, the National Folk Museum of Korea has been conducting research into the Gangwon-do region since 2013, covering food, the history of Pyeongchang and other towns and villages known for its dried pollack. This year’s events at the museum reflect the outcomes of that research,” he added.
Korea.net Staff Writer
Photos: Yoon Sojung, National Museum of Korea