*A place for more than just sales and purchases... the market
When it's still dark at dawn, the merchants and farmers of Iksan get busy. Once every 5 days, they set up their stalls here. This space is not exclusively for full time merchants. People who grow crops on small plots of land come sell their produce. Fresh produce at affordable prices and in generous portions.
These are the norms of marketplaces. Iksan Bukbujang Market is different in the sense that it's not open every day. Markets like the one in Iksan, which opens every 5 days, are called the 5th Day Market. In Korea today, there are more than 300 venues for such markets.
*A special space that opens every 5 days
Nohwa Island. From the southernmost town of the Korean peninsula, you must take a half our boat ride to get there. A market will be set up here. The residents of Nohwado bring the vegetables from their farms and the freshly caught seafood and set them up for sale. Algae and laver are their proudest specialties. The most popular items in Nohwa Market are products like shoes and clothes. The islanders rarely get a chance to shop for such products, so on cold days warm underwear, socks and shoes are best sellers.
When the Nohwa Market opens, nearby islanders also gather to shop. Nohwa market is a place for islanders to congregate and interact every 5 days.
*A place where extra helpings of love are the norm
5th Day Markets can be found outside the rural setting, too. Take the subway and one can head to an urban 5th Day Market. The biggest 5th day market in Korea is the Moran Market. Tasty treats, entertaining sights and excellent products. City dwellers flock to the market for these reasons and more. It's a great place for family outings. It's where children can experience traditional Korean culture and where grown ups reminisce about old times.
The 5th Day Market of Korea does not have a long history. It's not a place solely for business. The passion and love of Koreans can be clearly witnessed here at the 5th day market. That is why the tradition will live on.