he First Full Moon celebration - Shamanism goes on.
You can often here that Korea is a country where traditions are mixed with??modern things especially in the field of economy.??Yes, you can notice it when visiting some of traditional holiday celebrations and festivals many of which originate in ancient shamanistic rituals.
As you could see in our news, the biggest holiday in Korea is Lunar New Year??http://discoverkorea.co.kr/discover/bbs/view.php?id=news&no=8
The second traditional holiday is The First Full Moon Celebration ("Jongwol Taeborum" in Korean), this year it falls on Sunday Feb 12th. While Lunar New Year is celebrated at home with family, on Taeborum people come out with both family and friends to drive away misfortune and evil spirits and bring in good luck for the new year.
They say that many of the traditions of The First Full Moon Celebration are still followed now.
The First Full Moon Festivals
Several cities in Korea hold The First Full Moon Festivals, most of them are accompanied with traditional dances, songs, fireworks demonstrations and folk games.??
In some regions the program contains the traditional wedding ceremonies for 5 couples. This ceremony is free for the couples during the festival, although the ceremony would cost 5.000 - 6.000 dollars for each couple in general.??
Set the fire to the dry grass
During the festival there is a tradition to set the fire to the dry grass.
This tradition dates to the old times when peasants were to burning the fields to rid the fields of mice and insects that would damage crops in the coming year.
On Jeju Island they were setting fire to the surrounding fields of one of secoundary craters.
The most common custom is eating hard-shell nuts, not just eating but the nuts should be cracked by your own teeth, the noise resulting from the cracking sound should drive away evil spirits and??is believed to keep away skin disease in the New Year.??At this time the shops and markets have the biggest sales of nuts.
The other traditional food for the First Full Moon is "ogok-pap" - steamed rice and grains (in each family the ingredients may be a little different).
Interesting thing is that ogok-pap should be eaten in the house of your neighbors.??
You can also see many people crossing large bridges on foot.??Specialists explaining this tradition say that words ?leg? and ?bridge? sound the same in Korean, so many people cross the bridges to strengthen their legs in new year.
Bridge photo: Han Eun-jung
"Buy my heat".
If you say this phrase before your friend has the chance to say it, you will not suffer the heat in summer.??
These are some traditional customs in Korea for the First Full moon. Today I asked our Korean neighbours in the apartment if those traditions are still followed in reality, and in 5 minutes after that the neighbours brought us ?ogok-pap? (traditional food for Full moon) with some side dishes. So the traditions are still alive!