Category Archives: Music & dance

Events Festivals Gyeongju Hotels and housing Korean culture Music & dance News tips for tourists

2012 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Miso II, Concerts and More

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

Cherry Blossoms at Night, Gyeongju

I’ll skip my usually apologies to my regular readers for not posting in over almost month.  Suffice to say, I’ve been swept up in the usual start-of-semester whirlwind lately.  Thankfully things are finally settling into a routine and with spring at our door step, there are a few things to catch up on. For starters, cherry blossom season is close upon us again. If you’re planning to frolic among the flowers this year, the Korean Tourism Organization has recently released its predictions for the blossoming dates and peak times for 2012. It looks like the cherries here in Gyeongju will begin blooming around April 2nd and will be at their peak between April 11th and the 20th, so mark your calendars.  And if you’re looking tips on places in town to check out the cherry blossoms,  I’ve posted suggestions in years past on the best spots for the blossoms. read more »

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Andong Bomun Resort Buddhist culture Food & drink Gyeongju Gyo-dong Hwangseong-dong Music & dance tips for tourists Uncategorized

Fall Events in Gyeongju: Temple Food, Hallyu Dreams, Liquor and Rice Cake, Marathons and more

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

Gyeongju Liquor and Rice Cake Festival, 2010

The official start of fall is less than a week away, meaning it’s time again for some of the best weather in Korea and its accompanying  frenzy of festivals.   Here in Gyeongju we can look forward to a few old favorites plus some changes and special events.  First off, both vegetarians and Buddhist culture aficionados will want to check out the first annual Sachal Eumshik (사찰 음식), or Temple Food, Festival out at Deoksungsa Temple (덕숭사) next Saturday, Sept. 24th.   Contrary to popular belief (of many Koreans, in fact) Korea has a rich and delicious tradition of vegetarian cuisine rooted in the country’s numerous Buddhist temples.  Sachal Eumshik can be savored at several restaurants around Gyeongju, like Baru in Seondo-dong or Ssukbujaengi near Bomun.

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Events Festivals Food & drink Gyeongju holidays Music & dance tips for tourists

2011 Spring Events: Cherry Blossoms, Marathon, Liquor Festival, Martial Arts and More

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

Gyeongju Cherry Blossoms

It’s finally beginning to feel a bit like spring around Gyeongju, which means we’re just days away from that magical season when the cherry trees begin to bud and then blossom.  Entire streets in Gyeongju turn into marshmallow wonderlands and romantic couples stroll through flurries of pink petals.  I already posted last spring on some of the best places in town to check out the cherry blossoms, like at Kim Yu-shin’s tomb and the ruins of Banwolseong fortress, so I won’t repeat myself here.  Korea’s wizards of meteorology have gazed into their crystal balls and have predicted Gyeongju’s cherry flowers (벚꽃)  will begin blossoming between now and April 8th and that the peak season this year should be April 6th – 15th. read more »

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Festivals history Music & dance Outside Gyeongju Stories, legends & people videos

Video: Chajeon Nori (차전놀이)- The Juggernaut Game of Andong

To ring in the New Year I thought I’d share some video I shot at last year’s Andong Mask Dance Festival.  On its last Sunday the festival hosts a traditional folk game from Andong called Chajeon Nori (차전놀이) which literally means “Combat Carriage Game.”  It sometimes goes by the more impressive moniker “Juggernaut Battle Game” and it’s one of the cooler things I’ve seen in Korea. read more »

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Arts & crafts Buddhist culture Events Hwangnam-dong Music & dance tips for tourists

December Events in Gyeongju

Seorabol Cultural Center (image from www.gjcwc.or.kr)

Seorabol Cultural Center (image from www.gjcwc.or.kr)

There are a few things going on in Gyeongju this month that I thought I’d mention here.  First, I recently heard that the Buddhist Art Majors at Dongguk University are currently holding an exhibit of their work at the Seorebol Cultural Center (서라벌 문화회관).  The Buddhist Art Program at Dongguk University is pretty unique as it focuses on traditional styles of Korean Buddhist art, such as painting temple murals.  I had the pleasure of viewing some the students’ work on campus before and it’s fairly impressive.  Unfortunately this current exhibition only runs until next Tuesday, Dec. 7th, so try to catch it this weekend, if you can. read more »

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Downtown Events Music & dance Shamanism

Fall Concert under the Ginkgo Trees

The other week I posted on an upcoming concert at the Gyeongju Cultural Center (경주문화원) in honor of the changing leaves of  the 500 year old ginkgo tree (은행 나무) on the premises.  As it’s just a short stroll from my house, I manage to pop down there for about half an hour before running to class.  The atmosphere was a little somber as the event seemed somewhere between a cultural performance and religious ritual honoring this ancient dang namu  (당나무),  or tutelary tree spirit.  I actually felt slightly voyeuristic being the only foreigner there.  In fact, aside from the photographers, I didn’t see a single person in the audience that looked younger than 50. read more »

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Events Gyeongju Music & dance

A Night of Traditional Music at Dongguk

Traditional Music Concert at Dongguk Next Tuesday

Traditional Music Concert at Dongguk Next Tuesday

There’s usually a lot of concerts going on at Dongguk University , but this next Tuesday night is a particular performance that I’d like to give a special plug here.  It’s being organized and produced by Dongyoon Hwan, who’s a music major that I’ve learned to know at Dongguk’s International Lounge this semester.  He’s just gotten back from a year and a half in London where he was a professional musician and also did a fair bit of busking.  Since being back in Korea he’s had a vision to share Korean traditional music with the foreign community here in Gyeongju, so he’s organized this concert on his own initiative and by his own funding, which I think is pretty cool. read more »

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