Sajik Daeje

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The biggest ritual of the 18th-century Korea continues to this day. The descendants of the House of Yi, which was the last clan to rule during the Joseon Dynasty, continue to follow the traditions of their imperial ancestors. As such, they take it as their duty to perform two important rites: Jongmyo Jerye (Royal Ancestral Memorial Rite) and Sajik Daeje (Great Rite for the Gods of Earth and Agriculture), both of which are considered important cultural properties of Korea now. Six hundred or so clan members dressed in black, white, red, blue and yellow hanboks, all with beautifully decorated headpieces, make their incense and harvest offerings along to royally orchestrated music. Held just once a year at 11am, Sajik Daeje commences with a 40-minute ceremonial walk from Deoksugung Palace, crossing Sejongno and Gwanghwamun and finally arriving at Sajikdan Altar. This Joseon renaissance is a once in a year opportunity to see something that is uniquely Korean.

By: Chuljunsung

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