My informant is an adult female who works as a photographer in Korea. She specializes in taking photos and filming festivals around Korea and has been working in the photography industry for 7 years. Here, she is describing the Dano Festival that is held in Gangneung-si of the Gangwon area, which is located on the East side of the peninsula. The festival received recognition for its significance and was selected as one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of South Korea in 2005. She attended this festival several years ago and he is identified as Y in the dialogue. This piece was collected over a phone call in Korean and was later translated into English.
Y : The Dano Festival (pronounced Dan-Oh) is a festival that comes annually on the 5th day of the fifth month in Korean lunar calendar. This doesn’t mean that it’s May 5th every year but depends on the lunar calendar. I think this year is.. (silence) Yeah, it’s June 25th for this year (2020). This festival is just a traditional folk festival of Korea and isn’t really connected to any folk stories like the Chunhyang Festival that I just talked about. It’s all about making traditional food such as Tteok (ricecake), and letting children play with traditional toys such as a kite made out of Hanji (traditional Korean paper) or play Tuho (traditional Korean activity where people try to throw long sticks into a barrel). This event is held right before summer time and also right after the agricultural workers have planted rice. By holding this event, the local people are wishing for a good summer and a good year of rice farming, which is important for everyone’s survival.
This festival shows how the Korean society still treasures its old traditions from the past and tries to preserve it. Most of the activities and foods that are related to the festival are traditional and they do it the old-fashioned way. Also, this festival shows the agricultural importance in Korean society as their main food is rice. They hold a big event for the entire town and make a big wish for the agriculture God.
My informant is an adult female who works as a photographer in Korea. She specializes in taking photos and filming festivals around Korea and has been working in the photography industry for 7 years. Here, she is describing the Oegosan Onggi (traditional Korean pottery) Festival that is held in Oegonan Onggi Village of Ulsan, South Korea. She attended this festival in 2009 and he is identified as Y in the dialogue. This piece was collected over a phone call in Korean and was later translated into English.
Y : The Oegosan Onggi Festival is a festival that was established to promote the artistry of Korean pottery. Onggi usually refers to a big pottery where people put food inside to mature or ferment it. It’s like a barrel, except that it’s made out of clay. During the festival, it is mostly about experiencing how to make pottery out of clay and have fun with it. Children run around with clay on their hands and faces and everywhere. This one kid tried to put clay on my camera lens so I had to run around to protect my camera too, haha. But anyways, this festival has become one of the key festivals of Ulju, Ulsan area because they became a city that produces most of the pottery products in Korea now. And because a lot of people who have inherited the folk culture started to stop studying it, the festival is meant to raise awareness of the beauty of traditional Korean products. I don’t know the exact percentage of people who are still in the folk industry or the traditional culture industry, but it’s a sad fact that people are just leaving for cities in search of jobs.
I think this festival was significant in the fact that they have successfully made traditional Korean pottery as a tourist and a festival product rather than using food. This shows that the local area has great pride in making Onggi and even successfully established a village for craftsmen who produce onggi masterpieces. While onggi is not used in most regular Korean households, restaurants who put great emphasis on traditions still use those potteries of fermentation of food such as kimchi or soy bean paste. This also indicates that there are less and less people who try to preserve the traditional and folk culture of local areas.