Jeju is not only a place of beautiful nature, but it is also a land of unique culture. The beginning of February is when Jeju residents celebrate the Tamnaguk Ipchun Gut Nori Festival to welcome spring.
Date: February 3 and 4, 2016
Place: Kwandeokjeong, Mokgwana
The Tamnaguk Ipchun Gut Nori Festival was held over two days, with an opening ceremony in the evening, followed by a series of activities on the next day. On the evening of the opening ceremony, Jeju residents gathered together to play lively music and perform dances in traditional garbs as part of their procession.
After the procession reconvened at Gwandeokjeong, there was a prayer ritual where food was offered up to the gods and people performed charye to ask for good fortune. Traditional food like pork and soondae were then shared with the community. A shaman was invited to perform a special ritual involving a sacred wooden cow (nangshwe 낭쉐) to wish for peace.
On the day of Ipchun, there were several activities at Kwandeokjeong. People could write wishes on paper and string them up or play yutnori. Children could get their face painted, make bracelets from recycled T-shirts, play with soap bubbles, or participate in other activities.
The nangshwe sacred wooden cow was led in another procession around Mokgwana and then onto stage.
The stage also held a variety of performances, from dance performances to funny skits.
As the Tamnaguk Ipchun Gut Nori Festival wrapped up, there was another procession of traditional music and a sangmo ribbon dance performance.
Tamnaguk Ipchun Gut Nori kicked off spring with festivities and good wishes, so we look forward to a bountiful and beautiful 2016!
You can read more about this festival here.