[Hallyupedia] Miracle Sea Route (신비의 바닷길)

연합뉴스 / 기사승인 : 2021-04-07 07:00:11
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by Yun Ji Hyun / Cha Min Kyung

[ENG] Jindo Miracle Sea Route

▲ This photo provided by Jindo County shows the sea opening up to create the Miracle Sea Route. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The Miracle Sea Route refers to the strip of dry road that appears from the middle of the sea in Jindo island in Jeollanam-do, where this unusual natural phenomenon occurs. The sea route exists between Jindo and Modo Island, both located in Jindo County, South Jeolla province. It is also called "The Miracle of Moses" as the path resembles a passage in the Old Testament in the Book of Exodus.

▲ The unusual phenomenon on Jindo Island
Between the Jindo and Modo islands, the sea is divided and a road about 10 to 40 meters wide and 2.8km long appears. This phenomenon is caused by the coastal terrain, flow of ocean currents, as well as the force exerted by the sun. When the sea is lowered due to the difference between the tides, the sand dunes under the sea are exposed to the surface, making it look as if the sea is splitting.

The Mysterious Sea Route on Jindo island can only be seen two to three times a year. When the water recedes, the ground is revealed at a speed so fast that it can be clearly seen by the naked eye. The open sea route closes up in about an hour. Every year there is a slight difference in when the sea opens, however it usually happens from the end of February to the beginning of April of the lunar calendar.


▲ This photo shows tourists digging for clams at last year's Muchangpo Miracle Sea Route Festival. 

There are more than 20 places to see the Miracle Sea Route in Korea, including Muchangpo in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province, and Chebu-do in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. Among those places, the size of sea at Jindo Island is the biggest.

▲ Jindo Miracle Sea Route Festival

▲ This image shows people crossing over the modern version of "The Miracle of Moses", also known as "The Miracle Sea Route in Jindo island in 2013.

Every year Jindo county holds a traditional festival called the "Yeongdeungje" around the time when the sea route opens up the largest. Historically, Yeongdeungje was a ritual to pray for the well-being of the people living in coastal areas of the Korean peninsula to the Dragon King and Grandmother Ppong. However, now it has developed into a local festival where hundreds of thousands of tourists gather every year.


▲ This image provided by Jindo National Gugak Center shows women performing the Korean traditional song and circle dance called Ganggangsullae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

People are able to experience the unique culture of Namdo at the festival. You can see various performances of intangible cultural assets such as Ganggangsullae·[강강술래] (ancient Korean dance), Jindo Arirang (traditional Korean song), Jindo Ssitgimgut·[진도씻김굿] (Purification Ritual of Jindo), and Jindo Book Nori·[진도북놀이], which are national intangible cultural heritages.

The main event during the festival is to cross the sea. Participants can walk along the sea in rubber boots when the water is drained. While walking along the path, you can enjoy the fun of picking up seafood, which was originally under the sea with their bare hands.

This year's festival will be held from April 27-29th as an online festival due to the spread of the corona virus. Various traditional cultural performances as well as the actual opening of the sea will be broadcasted live on YouTube and Facebook.


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