서울 사직단에서 4일 사직대제가 봉행되고 있다. 나라의 풍요와 안녕을 기원하는 사직대제는 지난 1988년부터 매년 가을 열리고 있다.

On the morning of Oct. 4, a reenactment of the Sajikdaeje rites takes place at the Sajik Altar. The rites are performed in the hopes of peace and a good harvest, and they have been held every autumn since 1988.

The term Jongmyo-Sajik (종묘-사직, 宗廟-社稷) refers to the concept of the entire nation, encompassing the king at the top, the harvest, the gods, the earth and everything in between. It also includes more specifically the two most important rituals that were performed by the king during Joseon times. These rites took place at shrines that housed the royal family’s ancestral spirit tablets. The term “sajik” refers to the prayers made to the God of Earth (사, 社) toward the east and to the God of Harvest (직, 稷) toward the west. The Sajik Altar is where these rituals took place.

At a shrine to the west of the main palace were performed the Sajikdaeje (사직대제, 社稷大祭) rites, one of the most important national rituals that the king had to perform during Joseon times. Its success or failure was believed to be connected to the rise or fall of the kingdom. People stopped performing the ritual due to Japanese pressure in 1908. However, the Sajikdaeje Preservation Committee (unofficial translation) revived it in 1988. Since then, the rituals have been performed every autumn.

On the morning of Oct. 4, a reenactment of a royal Joseon parade, the Eoga Haengnyeol (어가행렬, 御街行列), took place between Deoksugung Palace and the Sajik Altar. It was not particularly short, and there were many people lining the parade route to watch and enjoy the ceremony. Tourists who happened to be in Seoul that day kept snapping away with their cameras.

The Jongmyodaeje and Sajikdaeje rites, including royal Joseon parades and rituals, take place every May and October.

By Jeon Han, Shin Jaewon
Photos: Jeon Han
Korea.net Staff Writers
[email protected]

사직대제가 열린 4일 사직단에서 참가자들이 팔일무를 선보이고 있다.

Participants perform the “Parilmu”(팔일무, 八佾舞), one of the ritual ceremonies performed yearly at the Sajik Altar.

 

사직대제를 위해 4일 덕수궁에서 출발한 어가행렬이 광화문 앞을 지나고 있다.

A royal Joseon parade, the Eoga Haengnyeol, passes in front of the Gwanghwamun Gate.

 

4일 사직대제를 위해 덕수궁을 출발한 어가행렬이 광화문 광장을 지나고 있다.

The Eoga Haengnyeol takes place between Deoksugung Palace and the Sajik Altar.

 

빌딩숲에 쌓인 사작단에서 4일 사직대제가 봉행되고 있다.

The Sajikdaeje rites take place at the Sajik Altar, nestled among Seoul’s more modern buildings, on the morning of Oct. 4.

 

4일 사직대제가 청명한 가을 하늘 아래 진행되고 있다.

The Sajikdaeje rites take place under a clear, blue sky on Oct. 4.