Building on its two-year experience, the Yecheon County, one of local autonomous entities in the southeastern province of Gyeongsangbuk-do, will host the Yecheon 3rd World Archery Festival on Oct. 13-16, 2017. On the theme of ‘Bow of Yecheon, Arrow of Cupid’, the archery festival will feature a variety of exciting programs associated with archery culture, including experience of shooting bows and arrows of many different countries including Korea, bow hunting, bow-based survival game, and recreations. During the Festival, the Yecheon County government will also host the inaugural meeting of the World Traditional Archery Federation set to be held on October 16, 2017.
Programs of the Festival in 2017 will also include an exhibition of world bows, arrows and archery culture, contest of crafting bows and arrows, student contest of shooting Korean traditional bows and arrows, martial art performance and bow-associated performances. Through these programs, visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences, such as experience of shooting Korean traditional bows and other countries, including bamboo bows, wooden bows and cross bows.
As part of its effort to promote the world archery culture, the County will host the inaugural meeting of the World Traditional Archery Federation during the period of the Festival to share unique archery cultures of different countries and establish an international network of archers. Expected participants in the meeting are around 20 countries, including Indonesia, Turkey, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Hungary, China, Japan, Mongol, Bhutan and Kenya. And the County will invite associated international organizations to the meeting, including the Intangible Cultural Heritage Center for Asia and the Pacific (ICHCAP), Turksoy and International Organization for Volkskunst (IOV).
Traditionally, Yecheon is famed as a central region of Korean traditional archery since a retired army general in the Joseon Dynasty moved into the County and handed down expertise and culture of archery to young generations about 300 years ago. Today, around 70% of Korean traditional bows are produced in the County, and it is equipped with rich archery infrastructure including an international-standard archery field. Against the backdrop of this tradition and infrastructure, the County produced more than 100 talented archery players, including a dozen world champions, such as Kim Jin-ho, Kim Su-nyeong, Jang Yong-ho, Yang Seung-hyeon, Kim Seong-nam and Han Hi-jeong. These outstanding archers won championships in international archery games as well as those in Korea.
Moreover, the County successfully hosted the Summer Universiade Daegu 2003 as the venue for archery games in the Universiade, leading it to initiate the World Archery Festival in October 2014. As the Festival was so popular that the first one held in 2014 was taken part by over 150,000 visitors and tourists.
To foster the archery culture, the Gyeongsangbuk-do provincial government plans to build a national archery theme park in the County around the current Jinho International Archery Field in Yecheon. The park will include a museum of archery history, field archery courses, an archery experience hall and an archery education center.
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