Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coulda, Shoulda But Didn't...

SO in Seoul there are a ton of events for people who feel like experiencing Lunar New Year's in a traditional Korean way.

First you can go to the Korean Folk Village where you can learn about and participate in Korean practices said to ensure a good new year. These include Keungut, an exorcism ceremony designed to placate ancestral spirits, getting readings from the Tojeongbigyeol, a type of fortune-telling book, and making Bujeok charm against bad luck. If you start to get hungry after these activities, you can snack on roasted sweet potatoes, yummy!

After that you can go to the KTO Tourist Information Center (TIC) you can learn to play a variety of different games; such as yut (a board game played by tossing four sticks into the air), jegi (kicking a shuttlecock, my students did this...), and tuho (arrow throwing). Then you can make hanji (Korean traditional paper).

When you finish doing that you should head over to The Namsangol Hanok Village. Visitors can take part in traditional Seollal customs, like handing-out Bokjori (bamboo kitchen utensils believed to bring good luck,like small woven rice scoops that scoop up good luck ), exchanging traditional Korean new year’s wishes, learn how to prepare the charye-sang (table setting for ancestor worship ceremony).

Here you can also see performances, including nong-ak (Korea's rural percussion music)
and Bongsan talchum (mask dance)

Then you can learn about and try popular New Year food by participating in a garaetteok (long cylindrical rice cake) cutting game and trying traditional rice cakes or makgeolli (traditional rice wine).

Ok so these are all the things you CAN do. I didn't do any of them...I stayed home for the last four days and watched multiple episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and "Friends". I left the house 4 times in 4 days for a total of maybe 4 hours...I literally stayed in bed for the whole time. I really did think about going to do all this stuff but I didn't.

Oh, and the whole tooth pulling thing went fine. I had like no pain what so ever...I have to go back to the dentist on Thursday for a checkup and then again like a week later for the stiches to come out. That's all!

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