Thursday, 5 March 2015

Fly Me To The (Full) Moon: Spring's Jeongwol Daeboreum

Jeongwol daeboreum is a Korean tradition celebrated at the start of spring, the day of the first full moon of the lunar year.

This year, jeongwol daeboreum is on February 22, Monday!  In Korea, people will wish everyone for good fortune and good health by cracking a peanut or walnut with their teeth. But I wonder if it's okay to also crack macadamia nuts straight from the pouch. Ha-ha-ha!  Everyone will also drink rice wine to wish for good news all throughout the year, and share and eat with neighbors boiled rice mixed with five grains and seasoned vegetables.

In Seoul, you can experience the celebration of jeongwol daeboreaum at the Namsangol Hanok Village, where the First Full Moon Festival will be held starting 3PM. I plan to drop by the festival today after work, not to enjoy the cracking of nuts, but to watch the finale of the festival: daeljip tae-u-gi, or the burning of the daljip. I guess, like the rest of the crowd, I like drama. The tradition is to gather the twigs and straws, bind them together, and burn them to ward off misfortune throughout the year. It will be an interesting spectacle.

At Namsangol, the organizers will create a wigwam-like structure made of twigs and straws, and burn them at sundown as part of the tradition. As a precaution, there will be a firetruck standing by to make sure the fire consumes only the dried twigs and straws, and not the things that would otherwise turn the festival into a disaster. Although this is held during the week, I expect a huge crowd to gather around the burning daljip tonight chanting "Burn, baby, burn!"  Well, if nobody chants that way, I will. Ha-ha-ha! If you unexpectedly hear that chant, you know who it is.  I'm thinking of bringing hot dogs and marshmallows; I don't want to fire to go to waste.

The burning of the daljip is scheduled at 6:30PM. So, if you want to watch it, be there before that time. Here's the link to the detailed festival schedule at Namsangol:

Namsangol Hanok Village is accessible from Exits 3 or 4 of the Chungmuro Station (Lines 3,4). Do dress warmly as the forecast says it will still be very cold. Or, you can always stand next to the burning daljip to warm you up. Kidding!

And since it's the first full moon of the lunar year, everyone will be making their way to higher ground tonight to catch the rising of the full moon. Some may go up to their apartment's rooftop, while others may just trek to the nearest hill. And since I am in the neighborhood, I think I will head up to the NSeoul Tower after my visit to Namsangol.  If it won't be cloudy tonight, the view of the full moon will be spectacular. I should be howling before midnight. Ha-ha-ha!

Here's wishing everyone their first full moon of the lunar year!

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