Folk museum celebrates year ahead by looking back

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Folk museum celebrates year ahead by looking back



At the coming close of the Lunar New Year holiday, the National Folk Museum of Korea will open its “2018 Seoul Grand Festival, The Year of Dog” exhibit on Feb. 15, 17 and 18. The museum offers a wide variety of activities for friends and families to enjoy the holiday, from learning how to dress in hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing to setting the table for the memorial service of ancestors.

“People nowadays have almost forgotten to bow properly to their elders,” said Choi Eun-soo, senior curator of the museum. “The most common mistakes they make are that they forget to make eye contact before bowing, and also tend to rush through the whole process. Their bottoms have to go all the way down and their elbows have to touch the ground when they bow, but young people usually don’t follow the proper process.”

The museum has also prepared entertainment for foreign visitors, such as making tteokguk (Korean rice cake soup) and bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake) in order to help them better understand the customs of the Korean Lunar New Year.

There are colorful performances that visitors can also look forward to for the three days of the festival. On the Feb. 15 at 2 p.m., there will be a shamanist rite to wish for a successful PyeongChang Winter Olympics. On Feb. 17, a traditional play and sajanori, or lion dance, will be hosted from 11 a.m.

On the last day, there will be a traditional folk dance and nongak, or Korean folk music traditionally performed by farmers.

The museum also offers two special exhibitions that visitors can enjoy in addition to these events.

One, titled “Wintering,” offers viewers the chance to see how Koreans spent winters in the past.

Since it is the year of the dog, the museum has also prepared an exhibition titled “Dogs in Our Lives: Companionship and Friendship,” which will explore the traditional symbolism of the animal and introduces various myths and epic tales involving humans and dogs and their shared history.


The museum is a 10-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Station on line No. 3, exit 5, or Anguk Station, exit 1.

The event is mostly free but can cost up to 8,000 won ($7.36) if visitors decide to take part in certain special events.

The museum will be closed on Feb. 16, Lunar New Year Day.

For a detailed look at the programs, visit
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