Jo Feb 18, 2024

One of the folk festivals our people have celebrated from olden times is Jongwoldaeborum (lunar January 15). Jongwoldaeborum was also called Sangwon. The festival usually started on January 14. The 14th was called ‘small full moon day’ and the 15th ‘big full moon day’. On the day our people held some interesting ceremonies reflecting a simple wish for good luck and rich crops in the new year.

On the evening of the day everybody climbed the hills at the back of their villages to enjoy the full moon, which was called welcoming the first full moon.

The custom of welcoming the first full moon enjoyed by everyone implies the following.

It was said that if a single man saw the moon first, he would marry a girl with a fair complexion and if a sonless man took the first, he could have a fine son. That is why people tended to offer the best places at the front to single and sonless men so that they could be the first to see the moon, and when a single got married to a pretty girl or when somebody got a baby son that year, people said it was attributable to their watching the first full moon. Some people wished themselves good luck watching the rising round moon and made bows several times. Some others predicted the success or failure of that year’s farming from the shape, color and position of the full moon.

Popular and exciting folk games for the festival were erecting a stack of grain stalks on the small full moon day and welcoming the first full moon, torch fighting, marrying a fruit tree off, tug of war, wagon fighting, kite-flying, pinwheel whirling, etc. on the big full moon day.