The moon grows big and tteok is steaming

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The moon grows big and tteok is steaming

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Tourists at the Namsangol Hanok Village.

This is the time of the year when the moon shines brightest. Chuseok, Korea’s Thanksgiving holiday, is just around the corner. Most Koreans visit their hometowns and watch ssireum, Korean traditional wrestling, on TV and some make songpyeon, a half-moon-shaped rice cake.
Though Chuseok is mostly about food, fun and relaxation, it’s also about tradition.
Celebrating the full moon is not complete without the attendant folk games and festivals.
From Sept. 22 to 26 the Korean Folk Village in Yongin, Gyeonggi will present “Hangawi Minsok Hanmadang.” Hangawi is another name for Chuseok, and means “a great day in the middle of autumn.”
The village offers visitors performances of farm music, traditional seesaws, tightrope dancing, traditional wedding ceremonies and horseback riding.
Hangawi Tteok Hanmadang, part of the Yongin program, will offer the opportunity to make tteok or traditional rice cakes.
“There are more participatory events this year,” said Kim Jong-gil, the folk traditions manager of the village. “Visitors can experience the past culture of common folks.”
The nearest subway is Suwon Station, line No. 1. For more information, call (031) 288-0000 or visit www.koreanfolk.co.kr.
The Namsangol Hanok Village is also offering traditional performances, events and games from Sept. 24 to 26. Events are categorized into four: participatory, public rehearsals, performances and exhibitions.
The participatory events offers visitors the chance to experience farm culture, folk games, traditional crafts, archery and the making of songpyeon.
Visitors will get a view of how students studied at a seodang (a village schoolhouse where Chinese Calligraphy was taught).
Fusion gugak (traditional music), reed pipe, traditional dance, samulnori (a traditional percussion quartet), folk bands, mask dances and ganggang-sullae (a circle dance performed by women) are scheduled.

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Visitors observing how injeolmi, a type of tteok (traditional rice cake) is made. Provided by the organizers

Visitors will also hear lectures about traditional etiquette and ancestor-memorial services. The nearest subway is Chungmuro Station, line No. 3, exit 3. For more information, call (02) 2266-6923 or visit www.hanokmaeul.org.
At Unhyun palace from Sept. 24 to 26, foreign visitors can participate in traditional activities such as yut (an old game with four-sticks inscribed with symbols), seesawing, tuho and tassel kicking while wearing hanbok. The nearest subway is Anguk Station, line No. 3, exit 4. For more information, call (02) 766-9090 or visit http://unhyungung.com.
On the same dates Gyeongbok, Changgyeong, (Anguk Station, line No. 3) Deoksu (City Hall Station, line No. 1 and 2) and Changdeok (Anguk Station) palaces will offer visitors traditional games. Those who wear hanbok will be admitted free of charge.
Seoul Gugak Festival will also take place on Sept. 25 at Seoul Square from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors can fly kites, prepare dried persimmons, peel chestnuts and hear a large transverse bamboo flute performed by Oh Byeong-uk and pansori (traditional narrative song) by Kim Cheong-man. The nearest subway stop is City Hall Station. For more information, call (02) 2171-2573 or visit http://seoulgugakfestival.org.


By Lee Eun-joo Contributing Writer
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