A year of abundance, peace and health is what everyone wishes for, throughout the centuries.
On the first full moon of the lunar year, people enjoyed folk games and performed other ceremonies, while wishing good luck for themselves, their family, their neighbors and their country.
On its website on Feb. 10, the National Archives of Korea unveiled a total of 39 records, including photos and videos, related to Jeongwol Daeboreum, the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. These records show what the folk customs and games performed to mark the day looked like. They also show that people today continue to enjoy a similar festive mood, games and customs, just as people did in the past.
In the early morning, people begin the day by drinking gwibalguisul (귀밝이술), a special liquor that is said to give them better hearing. Another representative food on the day is bureom (부럼), which means to crack hard-shelled nuts, such as peanuts or walnuts, with one’s teeth in order to prevent any skin disease in the new year.
Also on the day, people enjoyed and shared ogokbap five-grain rice (오곡밥) and jinchaesik fried vegetables with their neighbors, both of which are considered healthy food items.
In order to have peace across the neighborhood, villagers would gather for the jisinbapgi (지신밟기), a rite performed to salute the god of the land who protects the villagers’ houses, by visiting each other at home.
At night, people would make wishes while enjoying the full moon. Children enjoyed the jwibulnori which helped to get rid of mice and insects. Villagers burnt a large bonfire called a daljip, which literally means “moon house,” to get rid of evil spirits and in the hope for a good harvest.
Folk games on Jeongwol Daeboreum even went beyond the village.
People have enjoyed games for centuries. These games were designed to boost cooperation among villagers and to foster a community spirit by competing against other neighboring villages. Some of the games include the Andong chajeonnori (안동 차전놀이), the Gwangju gossaumnori (광주 고싸움놀이) and the Tongyeong ogwangdaenori (통영 오광대놀이), all of which people conducted during the off season in the first month of the lunar year.
More information is available at the website of the National Archives of Korea (www.archives.go.kr).
By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer
Photos: National Archives of Korea