[Hallyupedia] Dano

연합뉴스 / 2022-06-01 07:00:52
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by Ra Hwakjin / Kim Jimin

[ENG] One of the traditional holidays of South Korea, celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month


▲ This file photo shows a man and a woman participating in swinging contest during the Gangneung Danoje Festival held in 2019. (Yonhap)


Dano is one of the traditional holidays of South Korea, known as the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. This year’s Dano is June 3. On this day, Koreans enjoy making and eating rice cakes, playing on the swings, Ssireum (Korean folk wrestling), and Talchum (Korean traditional dance performance while wearing mask). Also, there is a custom for women washing their hair with water infused with ‘Changpo,’ the sweet flag.


▲ This file photo shows Danoje being held at Namdaecheon in Gangneung city. (Yonhap)


Dano is a Korean traditional holiday not only in Korea but also in China and Japan. In Japan, May 5th of the solar calendar is said to be celebrated as Dano.

Meanwhile, according to Doosan Encyclopedia, Dano appears in the document during the Han dynasty of China.

Dano of Korea also appears in a document called ‘Hanjeon (story of Korea),’ which recorded the custom of Mahan, one of the ancient Korean states located in the Southern region. According to this document, after sowing is over in May, people gathered in crowds to perform ancestral rites to god and stayed up all night dancing and drinking alcohol. Judging from this, Dano is a custom passed down from May Day, wishing a good harvest.

In ‘Dong Dong,’ a traditional Korean folk song of the Goryeo dynasty, Dano is called ‘Suri Day.’

On Dano day, women wash their hair and faces with water infused with ‘Changpo,’ the sweet flag, believing that it will drive away bad ghosts.


▲ This file photo shows a woman and a girl washing their hair with water infused with Changpo, the sweet flag. (Yonhap)


Besides that, people of the past ate various tteoks (rice cakes) made with seasoned vegetables such as Surichi tteok, Ssuk tteok, and Mang-gae tteok.

◇ Dano in recent days - Danoje

In fact, today’s Dano is hard to call as a holiday celebrated in common households, unlike Seollal (Korean New Year’s Day) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day). Unlike Daeboreum (the day of the first full moon of the year), when customs like eating Ogokbap (Korean Multigrain Rice) are still being followed until now, customs such as eating Surichi tteok, washing hair with Changpo water, or playing Ssireum seem difficult to be followed in general on Dano day.

However, in some regions, the traditional Dano day is celebrated through a form of festival, and there are a lot of people enjoying the festival.

Gangneung Danoje Festival is just the case. Gangneung Danoje Festival is inscribed on the list of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as well as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.


▲ This file photo show 2022 Gangneung Danoje Festival started on the 30th. (Yonhap)


‘2022 Gangneung Danoje Festival’ started on the 30th and it will continue for 8 days until June 6 at the area of Namdaecheon Danojang. The festival has not been held properly for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is held for the first time in three years this year.

South Korea’s largest Nanjang (flea market) will resume, with a total of 51 programs in 11 categories scheduled to be held including designated cultural properties such as Jerye (ancestral rites) and Dano-gut (shamanic ritual traditionally performed in the Yeongdong region during the Dano day, hoping for peace and prosperity of the area), citizen participation events, and folk games.


▲ This file photo shows people participating in an event making Sinju (an alcohol) on Dano day. (Yonhap)


‘2022 Gangneung Danoje Festival’ will show diverse entertainments including Dano experience zone, holding programs such as washing hair with water infused with ‘Changpo,’ the sweet flag, and tasting Sinju (an alcohol) and Surichi rice cake. Also, visitors can enjoy Dano citizen market, a type of a flea market, and food trucks.

In addition, ‘Gangneung Dano-jangsa Ssireum (Korean folk wrestling style and traditional nation sport of Korea) Competition’ will be held this year and it will be broadcast live through cable TV and YouTube channel. A modern style event such as a soccer match between Jeil High School and Jungang High School will also be held.



▲ This file photo shows two kids participating in Ssireum competition in Gangneung Danoje Festival held in 2019. (Yonhap)


Gangneung is not the only region to celebrate Dano. In Gyeongsan city of North Gyeongsang province, ‘Ja-in Danoje’ is being held, and Beopseongpo Danoje at Yeonggwang of South Jeolla province is also being held splendidly.

◇ Dano in Korean traditional art


▲ This photo, captured from the website of KANSONG Art and Culture Foundation, shows a folk painting ‘Dano Pungjeong.’ (Yonhap)


‘Dano Pungjeong (scene of Dano Day),’ painted by Shin Yun-bok, a famous painter during the Joseon dynasty, shows a representing image of Dano for Koreans. This painting, possessed by KANSONG Art Museum, shows women washing their bodies and playing on swings on Dano day.


▲ This file photo shows Chun-hyang playing on a swing and Mong-ryong watching her behind, during the Korean traditional musical Chunhyangjeon. (Yonhap)


In Pansori (a traditional Korean musical) Chunhyang-ga, the day when Lee Mong-ryong meets Chun-hyang is also Dano. Lee Mong-ryong who went out to play in Gwanghallu on Dano day fell in love with Chun-hyang at first sight, who was playing on the swing.


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