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Celebrating the birth of Korea on National Foundation Day Updated: 2018-10-03 15:09:54 KST

Long ago, according to Korean legend, Hwanung, the son of the Lord of the Heaven, wanted to live on earth among humans.

So he opened the sky and descended to Baekdusan Mountain, which sits on the border of today's North Korea and China.

There, he laid the foundations for Gojoseon, the oldest dynasty in Korean history.

(STANDUP) ed: steve
Koreans regard Gaecheonjeol, or National Foundation Day, as the day when the nation's 4,plus years of history began. The name ‘Gaecheonjeol’ means "the day the sky opened."

To mark this occasion, some 1000 people gathered in the heart of Seoul to commemorate the nation's beginning.

ed: steve
"I wanted my daughter to learn what National Foundation Day is and came to celebrate the birthday of our country."

"I’m an elementary school teacher but young kids don’t know that October 3rd is National Foundation Day. So I came out with my sons to attend this event."

The event started with an ancestral ritual to pay respect to the heavenly god. Participants wished for the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula.

At the nearby Bosingak Pavillion a special bell-tolling ceremony took place and the crowd cheered three times: once for the Republic of Korea, once for unification and once for peace for mankind.

Participants wearing traditional attire and masks of Dangun, the legendary founder of Gojoseon, marched through the central district of Jongno-gu with hopes for Korea to play a bigger role in bringing peace to the peninsula and the world.

Lee Min Sun, Arirang News.
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