Folk games enjoyed by ancestors over Chuseok holiday
Updated: 2021-09-17 17:04:27 KST
Today is Friday, As usual, our culture correspondent Kim Bo-kyoung is here in the studio for the weekly culture segment.
Bo-kyoung, please tell us what we can enjoy over the Chuseok holiday.
Hi Jiyeon, I am so excited for "Chuseok", and I believe a lot of people might be able to enjoy five whole days off work, from Saturday to Wednesday.
Though it is quite unfortunate that we need to refrain from going on a trip or enjoying activities with other people due to the pandemic, I thought it would be great to feel the spirit of abundance and happiness through the folk games and rituals our ancestors did to celebrate the holiday.
I went to the Korean folk village to see those events.
Korea's thanksgiving holiday has two names, "Chuseok" and "Hangawi", and is one of the biggest traditional holidays in Korea.
As Chuseok is a celebration of abundance and prosperity, ancestors not only performed traditional rituals, but enjoyed playing folk games and eating delicious food.
Among lots of folk rituals related to "Chuseok", one that was often done was "gilnori".
Each village had its own samulnori troupe a traditional percussion quartet, which would go around each house in the village wishing for the elderly's good health and long life.
Making and drinking traditional Korean grain-based alcohol "makgeolli" is another popular activity during Chuseok.
"It has been a tradition to brew "makgeoli" using newly harvested rice right after the harvest."
The game "jukbangul" is a Korean version of the Chinese game diablo.
Though not specifically related to Chuseok, children would have played this folk game a lot when all the family members were gathered.
"It was played by everyone and it is on the folk paintings of the Joseon Dynasty. After carving small pieces of wood into the shape of a diablo, people would throw and catch them by holding two sticks connected by a thread."
The highlight of the Chuseok celebration would be the folk dance, which was added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2009.
"When the harvest moon rises in the eighth lunar month during the Chuseok holidays, village women would join their hands together and dance in a circle, wishing for bountiful harvest."
Though stories of its origins vary, it is said that "ganggangsullae" dates back to the Joseon Dynasty when young women wore military uniforms and made the Japanese army overestimate the number of Korean soldiers.
Women at the time had to live under strict rules, but during Chuseok, they were free from those rules and were able to sing aloud or go out at night.
Our ancestors enjoyed the holiday while hoping for prosperity.
Though the activities might differ, people still have the same wishes now.
It's certainly interesting to see how our ancestors celebrated Chuseok Unfortunately, people need to stay home this year, could you recommend some nice dramas they can enjoy while relaxing indoors?
Of course, early this year Netflix pledged that it would invest 5-hundred million U.S. dollars to create original Korean content, and already, some eye-catching films and TV shows have been released through the streaming platform.
Among the hottest shows right now is "D.P." which deals with soldiers who go absent without leave.
Starring Jung Hae-in, the six episodes attracted many viewers not only in Korea but around the globe.
A new series released today, is "Squid Game" starring well-known actor Lee Jung-jae.
It is a Korean version of a cruel survival game where cash-strapped people take part in a variety of children's games to get a prize of around 40 million U.S. dollars or die trying.
The director says the title "Squid Game" came from an actual childhood game he played.
"A total of six childhood games are introduced and "Squid Game" was the toughest physical game we played at that time. I believe it is a perfect metaphor for our highly competitive society so I picked it as the title."
"The first game's film set was very impressive, I thought the filming sites would mostly be made of computer graphics but the staff really made it. 4-hundred-56 people took part in the games so the size was overwhelming."
The drama sounds like a great thing to watch during the holiday. Thank you Bo-kyoung for sharing, have a nice holiday and I will see you next week.