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Monday, 24 February 2014

Korean Spring Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss!

                                           Korean Spring Festival's You Shouldn't Miss !
         
                         

Spring is coming! Spring is coming! As the end of winter approaches and people across Korea start to shed their many warm layers in favor of lighter brightly colored pieces of clothing, the streets start to fill up with everyone who had hidden away and the search begins for outdoor events to enjoy. There are certainly plenty of things to see from flowers blooming to miraculous seas parting. Where will you go this spring?

                    Gurye Sansuyu Festival 구례산수유축제                                                                                    MARCH 22, 2014 – MARCH 30, 2014
           



The beautiful yellow Sansuyu, or Japanese Dogwood, flowers blanket the Jirisan mountain range and visitors to the area in the spring can partake in sansuyu makkoli tasting while watching traditional dances, rites and musical performances. If Gurye is a bit too far for you, there is a smaller, but no less fun,Sansuyu Festival. Try some sansuyu pancakes, makkoli and soup and play some traditional Korean games with a beautiful yellow backdrop.

           Jindo Miracle Sea Road 진도 신비의 바닷 축제                                  MARCH 30, 2014 – APRIL 2, 2014
                 
This is not the festival for those looking for an easy weekend getaway but for those that choose the trek, it is definitely worth it. Set down in the southwest corner of the country, Jindo offers up a spectacular event centered on what some call a miracle akin to the Moses sea parting. The waves part and on the muddy road that connects the mainland to an island 2.8 kilometers off the coast spectators don thigh high galoshes and head out to scrounge for shellfish, find star fish and just enjoy the generally awesome event. Concerts and good eats on the shore keep visitors busy while the path is wet.

                    Cherry Blossom Festivals  
              

Spring would not be complete without cherry blossom festivals and there is sure to be one near you. Here are just a few, find the nearest one near you! but expect to see these flowers blooming in April.

1. 
Jinhae Gunhangje Festival : (April 1, 2014 – April 10, 2014): This is the largest cherry blossom festival in the country and not only celebrates the blossoming of spring but also celebrates the Admiral Yi Sun Shin.

2.
Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival : ‘The 10ri Cherry Blossom Road’ is the draw for this festival. 10 ri equals approximately 4.5 kilometers of cherry blossoms to enjoy and it is said if lovers walk down this road holding hands they will live happily together forever.

3. 
Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival : Gyeongpo has a 4.3 kilometer long walk around a gorgeous lake that is lined with cherry blossoms and that’s not the only thing worth a visit, the beach that sits just beyond the lake is gorgeous as well. There are various cultural events and flower exhibitions

4. 
Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival :
 If you have no time to get out of the city, a popular place to head to welcome the spring with cherry blossom festivals is Yeouido. Around 1,500 cherry blossom trees bloom and the roads are blocked to traffic to allow visitors full access. An added bonus is that these flowers are lit up at night, so enjoy the flowers from day into night this spring.

                           Nonsan Strawberry Festival 논산딸기축제

                                                        APRIL 2, 2014 – APRIL 6, 2014

Who doesn’t like filling their bellies with delicious strawberries? The Nonsan Strawberry festival is the place to do that and more. Sculptures of strawberries and strawberry displays greet visitors to fair grounds where they can buy strawberry jams, strawberry hot sauce, strawberry pancakes and many more delicious strawberry delicacies as well as partake in mask making, painting and more, but the highlight by far is hopping aboard one of the shuttle buses and heading out to the strawberry fields where you can pick and eat strawberries to your bellies content.

                                   Gijisi Juldarigi Festival 기지시 줄다리기축제

                                                   

Have you ever wanted to participate ina massive tug-of-war? If your answer is yes then you should head to Dangjin this spring. From February 1st of the Lunar calendar the rope for the festivities begins to be spun from straw. The main rope measures in at 200 meters in length and 1.8cm in diameter and weighs up to 40 tons. When I said massive, I meant it! Anyone can take part in this festival that wishes for a good harvest and prosperity


                            Gwangalli Eobang Festival 광안리 어방축제

                                                      

                                                   

Not that you need an excuse to head down to Busan, but if you want a fun festival while you’re there, here’s one. The Gwangalli Eobang Festival celebrates the coming of spring and the ocean with bare-hand fishing, cooking contests and lots of good food to eat. Be sure to visit the nearby fish market where you can choose your own fish to eat for dinner and then head back to the beach to watch the bridges light up the night sky.

                                      Chuncheon International Mime Festival
                                                           춘천 국제마임축제


                                         
This festival that takes place just a hop, skip and a jump outside of Seoul is eight days of performances by Korean and international teams. There is not only miming, but also music, dance, installation art and short films for the enjoying pleasure of visitors. This festival is the perfect way to head into the summer music and art festival fun that is sure to come.

                                     So Which Festival You Would Like to Enjoy !!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Table Manners in Korea Culture

                                                   Table Manners in Korea Culture
                                                                                                                                                                                            

 Table Manners in Korea Culture means respecting the elderly & Cherishing the food served !

The following information on table manners is from an excerpt of a document, written in the 1700s, by Lee Duk Moo. Table manners are divide into three parts: before eating, during eating, and after eating.

It is best to consume the foo, immediately after it is presented. This is because the food can lose its heat and cool down. Also, dust can rest on the food if it is not eaten right away. Thus, even if you are busy, try to consume the food right away. There is a Korean saying that expresses the fact that you do not eat your food right away. It is ‘your soft-boiled bap is made for you.’ Also, a table where the food is not consumed immediately is called a “table without incense.” You should also never let someone wait for you before eating.

Even if you are angry, you should never thump your spoon or chopsticks on the table. You should not sigh, while eating. Also, even if the rice or soup is hot, you should never blow on it. Never beat your chopsticks on the table and the spoon should not make any sound when it touches a plate.

Once you are done eating, you must organize your spoon and chopsticks so that they do not go over the boundaries of the table. This is done to prevent the falling of the spoon and chopsticks, when taking the table away. You should always keep in hand a toothpick, to take out the food that is stuck between your teeth. This can also prevent bad smell from your mouth.

                                              *************Happy Eating *************

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Woosoo - spring rains in Korea

우수 : 24 Jeolgi’s Woosoo
                                                    
The Korean Lunar Calendar incorporates seasonal divisions of 24 절기 (Jeolgi), or the “turning points of the season” which lasts for 15 days for each term. Jeolgi is seasonal cycle became a timetable for agriculture created by the ancient Koreans to help take care of crops at the right time throughout the year.

Today is February 19, 2014, which marks the day of “우수” or Woosoo on the 24 Jeolgi term. Woosoo is in-between Ipchun, “the beginning of spring” and Gyungchip, which is the season when frogs wake up from their winter sleep. 봄비 내리고 싹이 틈 (bom-bee nae-ri-go ssak-ee teum) or “spring rains fall and the buds break in” is a saying for the Woosoo term which means that the spring rains on Wosoo encourages the plants to start growing again.

우수 뒤에 얼음같이 (woosoo dwee-ae uh-reum-gat-ee) or “Behind Woosoo is like Ice” is a proverb to describe Woosoo. This means that whatever is behind “Woosoo” will slowly start to melt even though it feels like it is freezing because of the spring frot. There is also another proverb “우수 경칩에 대동강 풀린다” (woosoo gyungchip-ae daedongkang pul-lean-da) means that after Woosoo and Gyungchip pass no matter how cold the weather may be, spring is coming and begin softening the ground for planting.

                                  



Geum Dong Bul Gam : Golden Miniature Shrine

                                         Geum Dong Bul Gam : Golden Miniature Shrine

                                                                           



“불감” or Bulgam is a miniature shrine built after the image of a Buddhist temple to keep this statue. The Bulgam provides important materials in studying the style of the Buddha placed in it as well as the architectural style of the period. The shrine and the Buddha are made in bronze and painted with gold. Found inside the shrine are the principal image of Buddha and two statues of Bodhisattva on a rectangular platform encircled by handrails.

                               


The large windows on both sides and in the front of the roof of the shrine was designed so Buddha can be seen clearly from the outside. The expression on the face of the principal Buddha is not sophisticated; simple lines depict the pleats on his clothing huddled on both shoulders. The halo on the back of his body is divided into the head and the body and are decorated with a flame design around their edges. The two statues of Bodhisattva are wearing a crown decorated with glass beads, the style and technique of expression are the same as those used for the principal Buddha.

The “금” or gold color of the shrine shines bright even today. The greenish blue roof still remains intact. The shrine has been kept in a good condition overall. The long back of the principal Buddha, irregular pleats on the clothing, and Bodhisattva's crowns decorated with glass beads imply that it is produced between the 11th and 12th century when Korean art was influenced by culture from northern China. This is a valuable material showing the architectural style and engraving technique of the Goryeo Dynasty and of the preceding period.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Jeongwol Daeboreum : Great Full Moon


                                                   Jeongwol Daeboreum : Great Full Moon

Today(i.e 14th Feb.) is the 2014 Lunar New Year’s First Moon or Jeongwol Daeboreum (marked the 15th day on the Lunar Calendar). Today is a very important day in Korea, accompanied by many traditional rituals to rid of misfortune and to wish for good luck.

                                 

A familiar “Great Full Moon” custom is to crack nuts with one's teeth as it was believed that this practice will help keep one's teeth healthy for the year. In the countryside, Koreans would climb mountains, and fight against the frigid winter weather just to catch the first site of the moon-rise. There is an old saying that the first person to see the moon rise will have good luck all year or a wish will be granted.

                                 

Koreans also play a traditional game called Geuybulnori, the night before Daeboreum. They burn the dry grass on ridges between rice fields, while children twirl around cans full of holes is blazing with charcoal fire. These cans are filled with fertilizer from the fields and to help get rid of the harmful worms that destroyed the new crops. There are also many more activities and customs celebrated throughout the night. 

                                 
                                                                           
On the morning of Daeboreum, Ogokbap , a five-"grain" rice consisting of rice, millet, Indian millet, beans, and red beans is served for breakfast. This is eaten with various dried herbs. Yaksik is a rice cake dessert consumed on this day. It is made of glutinous rice, chestnuts, pine nuts, honey, sauce, and sesame oil. 

                 Happy Valentine's Day Or White Day to all buzz KOREA Staff,Members & Fans Enjoy your Day !
                                       



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Seollal : Korean Lunar New Years Day

                                                     
                         
                                           설날/Seollal :Korean Lunar New Years Day

                                Happy 
Seollal to All buzz KOREA Staff,Members & Fans !!

              Seollal is Korean for Lunar New Years, the first day of the year in the lunar calendar.

This year Seollal falls on today, January 31, 2014. During the New Year’s holiday season; Koreans go back to their hometowns to visit their elders, relatives, and honor ancestors to wish them a Happy New Year or
새해 복 많이 받으세요 (Sae hae bok man hee bad eu sae yo). 


Traditionally, Koreans would wear hanboks and perform ancestral rites, play folk games, eat traditional food, listen to folk stories, and just catch up with their loved ones. As a New Years Day ritual, the younger generation will do “Sae Bae” which is a deep bow to the floor in front of elders especially grandparents, as a sign of paying respect. Seh bae is also given to the deceased ancestors with food and drink offerings, also known as “Charae.” Depending on how traditional a family is, seh bae may just be done by children to the grownups starting with bows to the oldest living generation. In return, children receive envelopes of money and words of wisdom for the New Year.

After seh bae, the traditional New Year's meal is ddukguk (ricecake soup) must be consumed to grow one year older. Adults tell their children that they can't get older unless they've eaten their bowl of ddukgook. Koreans usually spend their New Year’s playing traditional outdoor games like kite flying or noltigi, Korean board games like yutnori (stick-tossing board game), singing songs, and going to festivals. It is a time to relax and enjoy a brand new start with the ones you love. 


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hahoe Village’s Mask Dance Performance

                       
[세계유산 안동 하회 마을 : Hahoe Village’s Mask Dance Performance]


As the Nakdonggang river winds its way through North Gyeongsang Province nestled in one of its curves is a picturesque place called Andong Hahoe Folk Village. Designated “Important Folklore Material No. 122” by the Korean government, Andong Hahoe Folk Village is where members of the Pungsan Ryu family have lived for many generations. “Hahoe” means winding river, and the scenic combination of the river and Taebaeksan mountains mean the village is located in an auspicious location. Some say Andong Hahoe Folk Village is like a lotus floating on the water.

The Hahoe Mask Dance Drama Performance (Hahoe Byeolsingut Exorcism) has been performed for centuries as a village ritual intended to please the local goddess and exorcise evil spirits. The village prayed for an abundant harvest, peace and prosperity, and self-enjoyment performing the play. 

                                   


In an agricultural society a good harvest was considered to be the key factor of the village’s survival and the villages performed a sacrificial rite to pray to the heavens for an ever-lasting and bountiful harvest. As an act of prayer, the mask dance is made up of 10 episodes with a satirical story of former nobleman.

                                                                                            
There is an old saying that if you did not have a chance to watch the mask dance performed in your lifetime, you would not be able to enter heaven’s doors. Like most folk mask dances handed down in rural communities across Korea, Hahoe Pyolshin-Gut T'al-Nori features various allegorical characters, such as Yangban (an arrogant aristocrat), Sonbi (a pedantic scholar), Chung (a depraved Buddhist monk), Imae (a foolish servant), Paekchong (a coarse butcher) and more. Each character represents a social class and shows the conflicts amongst the different classes and satirizes the social tensions among the families in the village.


                                                                               
The Hahoe Village not only features the Mask Dance Performances but also the Andong Soju Museum that is open everyday and provides group tours to make and sample soju. Visitors can also experience making Hanji (Korean Paper) at the corner of the village and more.

Performance Dates : Wednesdays & Weekends from 14:00-15:00 PM