The millennium-old Gangneung Danoje Festival, which is registered as the first UNESCO Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in festival segment, will be held for 8 days from June 5 to June 12, 2016 in Gangneung.
The annual Gangneung Danoje Festival will be launched on May 11 with the event of dedicating spirit tablet rice and brewing wine for ritual ceremony. The wine will be used for the religious ritual for mountain spirit of Daegwallyeong Peak to be held on May 21 and other rituals and events of the Festival.
Major programs of the Festival include a deity welcoming rite and parade, Gangeung Dano Gut (exorcism), experience of wearing traditional Korean dresses, folk games, competitions and international cultural exchange programs. The deity welcoming parade will be taken part by over 3,000 members of some 20 teams from Gangneung and several other teams from other regions.
As a shamanic ritual, the Gangneung Dano Gut features traditional Korean shamanic performing art, such as dance, music, dress and ritual stories. The ritual is carried out by several female shamans and a large number of musicians. The head shaman chants shaman songs in time with the rhythm of a double-headed drum. Musicians strike cymbals and gongs as the shaman performs shaman songs or dances.
As part of campaign of encouraging people to wear more traditional Korean costumes, the festival organizing committee will add a new program of experiencing traditional Korean dresses this year, and it will hold the ‘Contest of Great Korea Publicity Representatives’ and parade of traditional Korean dresses.
Several folk games such as Korean wrestling, swing, tug-of-war, arrow throwing game and throwing sticks game will also be held. Korean wrestling and swing games will be held throughout the Festival period. Tug-of-war game and throwing sticks game will be held on June 9 and June 10, respectively. These games are designed to strengthen harmony and unity among Gangneung citizens.
Also, various music and dance contests, including youth song festival, youth dance festival, orchestra contest and Gwanno (government slave) mask play contest, will be held. As part of international cultural exchange programs, 6 cultural teams from four countries, such as France, China, Japan and Mongol, will take part in the Festival to introduce their unique culture and arts. Particularly, the French Ghana festival team will participate in the Festival with sponsorship of the Inter-city Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN).