[Pyeongchang Winter Olympics] Jeongseon Arirang Festival

A-ri-rang, A-ri-rang, A-ra-ri-o goes the song that we know and love. A folk song that comes from Korea have several different versions according to the region. This month we’ll be talking about the Jongseon Arirang – native to Jongseon area of Gangwon-do.

The Jongseon Arirang Festival is celebrated every year and designated as Gangwon-do’s Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 1. A costumed parade and street folk performances are held every year. The highlight of the festival is of course the Jongseon Arirang performance followed by a variety of other folk performances, cultural events and sporting events. Public participation are also encouraged in the form of Jeongseon Arirang singing competition, reenactment of Ttetmok Arari and local dialect contest.

Admission/Participation fees: Free

Period: 29 Sept – 2 Oct 2017

Address: 112, Bongyang-ri, Jeongseon-eup, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do

Transportation: From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Jeongseon. From Jeongseon Terminal, take a taxi to the festival grounds. (5-10min)

Gyeongbokgung reconstruction: Jeongseon Arirang spreads out nationwide.

Gyeongbokgung buildings faced reconstruction in 1867 during the regency of Daewongun (Prince Lee Ha Eung – father of Gojong). With the reconstruction, which makes the palace having 330 buildings and 5792 rooms, Gyeongbokgung once again became the iconic symbol for both the Korean and Korean national family.

The construction, which takes 7 years to complete, involves workers coming from everywhere through out the country. The workers sang many folk songs to relieve stress and comforted themselves. Jeongseon Arirang became the most famous as it has a nice chorus to sing to. After the end of the reconstruction, workers went back to their hometown and spread the song all over the regions of Korea.

Arari Village

Ararichon Village has replicas of traditional houses that were located in Jeongseon. Sculptures inspired from Park Ji Won’s Yangbanjeon – A Story of a Nobleman is on display throughout the village.

Arirang School Memories Museum

Located inside Jeongseon Arirang School, it exhibits historical artifacts from modern and contemporary eras. Items from long ago such as textbooks and notebooks, ttakji (folded paper cards used for a mae whose object is flipping a card upside down by slapping with another card) are displayed together with 1125 folk artifacts.

A (Arirang) – Train

Opened since January 22, 2015, the train moves from Cheongnyangni Station in northeastern Seoul and pass through several stations in Gangwon-do, including Mindungsan and Jeongseon, which hosts the “Jeongseon Five-day Market”, and arriving at Auraji Station. The A comes from the word Arirang, amazement and adventure.

Food

Gondrebap : steamed rice with gondre (wild vegetable full of vitamins). Famous in Jeongseon/Taebaek area as gondre in these area is very soft and crispy

Kotdeungchigi Guksu : uses buckwheat noodle called Kotdeungchigi noodle. Kotdeungchigi means “hit the nose” in Korean as the noodle may slap your nose when you eat it because of the thick and resilient texture.

Ongsimi : native food of the Gangwon province. Ongsimi is a small dumpling made by grinding potatos, drained of water and mixed with starch flour.

Jeongseon Arirang Academy: Preservation of Jeongseon Arirang

The song delivers the feeling of the people of Jeongseon. Traditionally sung by local folks who didn’t write or read, there was no well organized document for it. Jeongseon Arirang Academy was established to hand down and promote Jeongseon Arirang, it has teaching room, Jeongseon Arirang Reference room, Jeongseon Arirang performance hall and others. Arirang Classes are held on Wednesday to enable people to learn Arirang from the master singer of Jeongseon Arirang.

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