I don't own these photos. Credits go to their rightful owners. I just want to show everyone beauty of South Korea.
Seoul, 1945. This is the year when World War II ended, also the year when Japanese surrendered and the Korean Peninsula was liberated from 35 years of imperial rule. But this caused country to be divided into South and North Korea. The USSR occupied Korea north of the 38th parallel, while the U.S. occupied the southern section. Under UN auspices, a democratic government established the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in 1948 with its capital in Seoul. The Communists established the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) with its capital in P’yongyang.
Changdeokgung Palace (“Prospering Virtue Palace”) was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. The palace gained in importance starting from the time of 9th king of Joseon, Seongjong, when a number of kings began using it as a place of residence. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces.
The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden which was constructed during the reign of King Taejong. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion. The garden was kept as natural as possible and was touched by human hands only when absolutely necessary. The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall.
It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897).
Gonggi (공기) is a popular Korean children’s game that is traditionally played using 5 or more small grape-sized pebbles. Nowadays, children buy colourful plastic stones instead of finding pebbles. It can be played alone or with friends. The stones are called gonggitdol (공깃돌), which means “gonggi stones.” Since only a few stones and a flat surface are needed for play, the game can be played by anyone almost anywhere.
How to play:
- Level 1: The stones are thrown on the playing surface and the player picks a stone to throw up in the air. While airborne, the player picks up one stone on the playing surface. Then, the player catches the stone. These steps are repeated until all the stones have been caught.
- Level 2: The stones are thrown on the playing surface again. However, at this level, the player picks up the stones two at a time.
- Level 3: The stones are thrown on the playing surface. The stones are picked up once in a cluster of three, and the other in the amount of one.
- Level 4: The player throws one stone in the air, places the others on the surface, and catches the airborne stone. Then the player picks up the four clustered stones on the playing surface. Then the player catches the airborne stone.
- Level 5: The player tosses the stones from the palm of their hand in to the air. While airborne, the player switches his hand backside up. The stones are then caught on the back of the hand. Then, the player throws the stones in the air and catches them. The number of stones caught amount to the score.
The wonsam is a female ceremonial topcoat in hanbok, Korean traditional clothing. It was worn by queens, high-ranking court ladies, and royalty during the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392-1910). The color and decorations of the garment around the chest, shoulders and back represent the wearer’s rank. For example, the color yellow was used for the wonsam of empresses, red for queens, jajeok (紫赤 magenta) for concubines and princess consorts, and green for princesses and women of the noble yangban class. Commoners were allowed to wear the green wonsam only for their wedding ceremony.
Wonsam was made with silk. It was based on an overcoat with broad sleeves of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. The Chinese clothing system was introduced to Korea when King Munmu, the 30th king of the Silla Kingdom, reformed women’s clothing in 664 AD. As an adaptation from the original model, the wonsam gradually evolved into a distinctive form characteristic of traditional Korean clothing.
The Korean tea ceremony or darye is a traditional form of tea ceremony practiced in Korea. Darye literally refers to “etiquette for tea”or “day tea rite” and has been kept among Korean people for a few thousand years. Tea ceremonies have always been used for important occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, remembrance of old friends, and increasingly a way to rediscovering the joys of Seon meditation. There are at least 15 major tea ceremonies that are performed.
Generally the best local water is used to make the tea, and at times some of the best Korean teahouses had their own small springs. Water is brought to boil above a wood fire, poured into a teapot and brought immediately to service. Tea is poured initially by a tea hostess into warmed cups from a heated teapot at a distance above the first cup so as to create a controlled flow of tea with attractive bubbles. This is done to create good luck.
One of the modern variations of the Korean tea ceremony involves a low tea table around which the guests and master sit. The tea master or host will sit on one side and will heat and pour and clean the tea ware as part of the whole ceremony from start to finish. The host or master will often keep all the tea ware on the tea table all year, and will cover it with a cloth while not using it. The collection is often made up of several different teapots, often with many different color & shape teacups. The ceremony begins with all the guests sitting around the table and as the water heats the host will begin the conversation, usually with informal or casual questions, such as asking about the guests family. After heating and pouring the tea the guests will wait until the host or master picks up their cup first, then will pick up theirs. This whole procedure sometimes can last for several hours. But the whole ceremony is very relaxing and is a wonderful way to get to know someone or to ease into a business transaction.
Jeonju is an important tourist center famous for Korean food, historic buildings, sports activities and innovative festivals.
- Jeonju bibimbap 비빔밥, a traditional local food, is well-known across South Korea. There are also several very popular vegetarian restaurants serving Jeonju style food and pine wine.
- The National Jeonju Museum exhibits ancient relics from the Baekje days.
- There are extensive royal museums, temples, a castle fortress on a hillside, and a well-known paper museum, as well as an annual paper fashion show highlighting both the latest style and traditional Korean clothing made of paper.
- The Jeonju Hanok Village (Hanok Maeul) is a traditional-style village located in the heart of Jeonju, housing over 800 traditional “hanok” style buildings. It contains many traditional tea shops, souvenir shops and restaurants.
- The Jeonju International Film Festival draws about 50,000 visitors annually.
- Jeonju is the hometown of the breakdancing crew Last for One, international Battle of the Year champion.