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Sancheong hosts 14th Medicinal Herbs Festival on Oct. 2-9An excellent opportunity to explore Oriental medicine

The Sancheong County of Gyeongsangnam-do Province hosts the 14th Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival on Oct. 2-9, 2014, where will be on display a large variety and number of medicinal herbs for an eight-day run. Sancheong County is located in the vicinity of Jiri Mountains widely known for high-quality medicinal plants.

More than 1,000 species of herbal plants grow wildly in vast swathes of Sancheong. As a hub of oriental herbs, Sancheong was featured in “Dongeui Bogam” (Principles and Practices of Eastern Medicine) where Heo Jun, a legendary doctor of oriental medicine during the Joseon Dynasty, and his master Ryu Eui-tae treated sick people and saved their lives. (Dongeui Bogam, which was written by Heo Jun (1539~1615) in the early 17th century, is an encyclopedia of oriental medicine that presents not only the Korean medical theories of the time, but also medical theories from all over East Asia. The book was registered with UNESCO in its "Memory of the World" program.)

▲Leaders of the Sangcheong County and important guests ignite a Large Herb Medicine Concoction Bowl.

During the herbs festival, visitors will gain access to the “Dongeui Bogam Village” and oriental medicine infrastructure where visitors can sample oriental medicine and medicinal plants. Aided by its rich natural environment and historical background, Sancheong hosts the medicinal herb festival every year.

It is advised that you and our family escape from a hard life and make a healthy journey to Sancheong for the herb festival opening on October 2.

14th Sancheong Medicinal Herb FestivalThe Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival, where you can experience a wide variety of medicinal herbs that grow wildly and mysterious effects of oriental medicine, will mark the 14th anniversary this year.

▲Re-enactment of the King’s receipt of Dongeui Bogam (Joseon Dynasty’s famed Oriental Medicine Book compiled by famed Korean doctor, Heo Jun.

▲Sancheong Arirang (famous Korean folksong) is presented by the Choir of the Sancheong Elementary School at the opening of the Festival.

Visitors will be offered traditional herbal treatments, energy treatments, meditation and other alternative therapies. Doctors of Korean medicine will offer medical counseling and acupuncture. The event will enable visitors to get tailored advice about their diet. They can also purchase herbs at affordable prices.

The event was chosen as an outstanding festival for two consecutive years (2012-2013) by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The Sancheong-gun Office works hard to develop an array of innovative programs for visitors so that the status of the festival will be lifted by the ministry. “Visitors will experience a lot of changes in the festival,” says the Sancheong-gun Office.

The Thematic Hall (Dongeui Bogam Gwan) presents a One-Stop Experience Program on Oriental Herbs.

In line with the festival’s main theme, “A Family Journey for Your Health,” the Thematic Hall will be divided into five segments Oriental Medicine Hall, Herb-Eco Hall, Yakseon Hall, Anti-Aging Industry Hall, and Sancheong Hyeminseo. Hyeminseo was the medical authorities during the Joseon Dynasty. The officers were in charge of producing medicines, teaching disciplines and researching oriental medicine.

A diversity of oriental medicinal products will be on display at the Thematic Hall. Visitors will have a chance to experience oriental medicine and medicinal plants and grass during a trip to the hall.

A trip to the Oriental Medicine History Hall will enable visitors to get information about leading doctors of oriental medicine, like Yang Ye-su and Yi Je-ma, who based in Sancheong. The hall will exhibit the legacy of Korean traditional medicine, and great figures featured in Dongeui Bogam. In other words, the hall will showcase the history and tradition of oriental medicine and specialties of Sancheong, the birthplace of valuable medicinal plants.

▲Young people of all nationalities visit the House of Dongeui Bogam

The Herb-Eco Hall will exhibit alcoholic beverages made of fresh herbs, as well as a host of rare and unpolluted medicinal plants which grow at Mt. Jiri. Reflecting the theme of the hall, “Era of Wellbeing, Living to 100,” plenty of medicinal plants which are good for the health of people will be exhibited according to the type of diseases and physical constitution of humans.

The Yakseon Hall will exhibit a variety of “yakseon cuisines” (healthy foods mixed with medicinal herbs). On display will be 100 types of pickled vegetable and 30 types of Sangcheong yakseon. Of particular note, 15 eateries which specialize in yakseon cuisines will also be featured as well.

The Anti-Aging Industry Hall will exhibit herb teas, health foods and sources that have been developed in Sancheong for the past decade and results of school-industry projects, along with herbs cultivated in the Sancheong area. On-going research on medicinal plants and grass will also be explored. Visitors will witness the past and present of Sancheong’s medicinal herb industry.

Sancheong Hyeminseo will provide visitors with an opportunity to get “one-stop experiment on oriental medicine” including free medical treatment and free checkups of physical conditions and diagnosis of stress, all using tools of oriental medicine.

▲Expatriates try their hand in cutting medicinal herb roots.

Marketplace for medicinal plants
An event will be held in memory of Heo Jun and his master Ryu Eui-tae. There will also a ceremony marking Dongeui Bogam’s registration with UNESCO’s “ Memory of the World” program. A marketplace will be set up for trade of medicinal plants, specialty agricultural products, processed foods with herbal properties, handicrafts and traditional foods, all peculiar to Sancheong.

Visitors will be able to sample some plants and grass at a herbs farm and learn how to make drinks and alcohol beverages out of oriental herbs. It will be a hands-on experience for people for all ages. In addition, there will be a diversity of programs that will enable visitors to make soaps, bread, cookies and teas, all using oriental herbs. Moreover, visitors will be able to purchase a variety of medicinal herbs and processed products at affordable prices.

Dongeui Bogam VillageVisitors will have a chance to meet with “spirit” specialists to check up their mind and soul. There will be programs for “treatment of spirit and meditation.”

Visitors will also have gain access to the Oriental Medicine Museum which will show that Dongeui Bogam was a best seller as it was published also in China and Japan. The Sancheong Yakcho Hall will feature some 50 species of rare medicinal plants that grow wildly at Mt. Jiri. The Traditional Herb Theme Park will also surprise visitors with its wonderful sculptures on the features of the human body.

▲Visitors photograph information on Dongeui Bogam Medicine Book.

Entertainment programsA variety of entertainment programs will wait visitors. Live performances will be staged three or four times a day. Traditional plays, including “Heo Jun Madanggeuk,” will be performed along with special plays. A “healing dance program” will be available for all- Korean and foreign visitors, volunteers, civil servants and merchants. There will also be a concert of traditional Korean music. Indeed, the 14th Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival will be an event that all--Koreans, foreigners and children can “taste, feel and touch.”

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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