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The story behind Gaecheonjeol, the National Foundation Day of Korea Updated: 2017-10-03 12:40:55 KST


Korea's foundation myth dates back more than 4,000 years, and tells the story of how the state of Gojoseon, a predecessor to modern Korea, came into being.
The story begins with Hwang-ung, the son of the Lord of the Heaven, descended from heaven to Mount Paekdu, now located on the border between China and North Korea.
Hwang-ung founded his own city and taught his people several disciplines.
Watching this from afar, a tiger and a bear prayed to Hwan-ung asking for help in order to become human.
Hwan-ung responded by telling them that if they lived off garlic and mugwort for a hundred days while avoiding the sunlight, they could become human.
While the tiger gave up in less than a month, the bear succeeded and was transformed into a woman.
Later, she married Hwan-ung and gave birth to a son named Danggun Wanggeom, who ascended to the throne and built Go-joseon, the first dynasty of Korean history in 2333 B.C.
Koreans have celebrated National Foundation Day since 1909, when it was commemorated on the third day of the tenth month on the lunar calendar, before being fixed on October 3rd on the solar calendar forty years later.
On National Foundation Day, there are often festivals and parades, and people give thanks to the heavens by burning sandalwood incense and performing ancestral rites.
Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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