Tuesday, March 24, 2015

200902292 KWANHYUNG LEE/Mysterious Dan-O/Thurday 56

                                                      Mysterious Dan-O
          There are more holidays other than Seol-nal or Chu-seok in Korea. Some of the holidays are there to make wishes for the season to come, and others are related to the shamanic belief of our ancestors. The reason why Seol-nal and Chu-seok are well-known in Korea is that Korea, for a long time, has been an agricultural state, and those days represent the start and the end of the growing season respectively. However for the Korean agriculture, it seems that there is one holiday forgotten in our calendar: Dan-O. In this holiday, people celebrate their fine job for rice planting and the start of the summer season with many different activities.


             Dan-O started to become a holiday in Korea when people settled for farming in Korea, as early as the Three Han states flourished in Korea, around first century B.C. During that time, people would plant the seeds for rice, and bowed to the ghosts and ancestors for goodwill. According to the Heritage, people would sing and dance all day, and numerous people gather around and make a line on a single rope, trying to balance themselves and stick on to the rope. It was an act to ward off bad luck. In addition, people would wrestle and shoot bows for competition. After that, much of the liquors were consumed heavily in the midnight for celebration. From the origin of Dan-O, we can see that there isn't much difference in celebrations in the old days and today, specifically on the drinking part.


             In the modern days, Dan-O is still celebrated with various activities. Although much Koreans don't farm anymore, still the feast is active. People wash their hair with the extract of an iris for its scent, and it is believed that it prevents you from getting any disease in the head. In addition, because Dan-O is the start of the summer season, people give out a folding fan to get a hold of their heat. Another activity is that the women play on the swings, usually two women facing each other. Because women were strictly forbidden to walk out of their houses during daytime, this event was one of their only times to enjoy themselves outdoors. It was originally from the northern part of China, but was brought in by envoy Kwak-won of the Koryo dynasty. In current days, both sexes enjoy playing on the swing and feel how our ancestors were celebrating this day.


             In conclusion, Dan-O is a Korean holiday that is not that well-known, but was one of the most important holidays for planting rice crops and to start off summer. In these days, Gangneung Dan-O celebration was enlisted in the UNESCO, and still is preserved well by the local community. It seems that Korean holidays need to be marketed and promoted well for the unknown ones, such as Dan-O and the rest, to better understand Korea.

1 comment:

  1. Gayoung Kim//
    1. I guess that your thesis statement is the last sentence in the introduction. And yes,
    I think it identifies some activities' process.
    2. Your background information is about the reason why people only concentrate to Seol-nal and Chu-seok.
    3. I think they all present different aspects of Dan-O, but not exactly about some kind of process.
    4. I don't think you wrote about some process of activities we do in Dan-O. So, I cannot see exact logical sequence of process. But the flow of each paragraph is logical. :-)
    5. Most of the details are facts about the holiday and I think they are enough to understand the day.
    6. Yes. There are recommendations and evaluations of your own in the conclusion.

    These are just my personal opinions following the 'Editor's Checklist'. So it is not offensive! :-)