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Daeboreum 대보름 – The Great Full Moon Holiday in Korea

Daeboreum (대보름 in Hangul) translates to “The Great Moon” or “The Great Full Moon” in English. As the name entails, it is a celebration dedicated to the full moon in Korea.

People wearing hanbok dancing around a huge bonfire with the full moon showed behind it

Specifically, 대보름 (daeboreum) is a Korean holiday that celebrates the very first full moon of the new year under the lunar calendar. Daeboreum is the Korean version of China’s First Full Moon Festival.

When is Daeboreum?

Daeboreum is celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar new year each year. It usually takes place in February, but the specific date each year changes accordingly to the start of the lunar new year.

For example, in 2021, it was celebrated on February 26. In 2022, it was celebrated on February 15, and in 2023 it is celebrated on February 5. Sometimes you may hear the celebration be referred to as “The Great Fifteenth” as well.

How is Daeboreum celebrated?

Traditionally in the Korean culture, many customs and traditions are done to celebrate Daeboreum.

A long time ago, farmers would burn the dry grass you can find on the ridges between rice fields the night before 대보름 (daeboreum). This custom came to fruition as an act to get rid of insects and mice which may otherwise damage crops in the year to come.

달집 (daljip)

Today this custom no longer seems to take place. However, setting something on fire has remained a symbolic aspect of the Daeboreum holiday, commonly in the form of bonfires. These bonfires are called 달집 (daljip).

Specifically, the tradition of lighting a bonfire on fire is called 달집태우기 (daljiptaeugi). This is one of the central ways in which Daeboreum is celebrated by the crowds. These bonfires are built in a triangular shape, with the intention being to build a “house” of sorts for the moon.

After all, the literal translation of 달집 is “moon house” or “house of the moon”. There’s even a small door set on the east side of the bonfire!

지신밟기 (jisinbalgi)

The bonfire is set to burn once the moon rises. As it burns, a ritual going by the name 지신밟기 (jisinbalgi) is done around the bonfire, with people stomping their feet on the ground. Through this ritual, people believed its purpose is to scare away any possible evil spirits and bring luck.

쥐불놀이 (jwibulnori)

For children, one of the most fun ways to celebrate the holiday is with the traditional game, 쥐불놀이 (jwibulnori).

In jwibulnori, charcoal fires are set inside tin cans the night before Daeboreum. They’re attached to strings, which are then flung around. This custom, too, is believed to aid in getting a great crop that year and gives kids the rare opportunity to sort of play with fire.

달맞이 (dalmaji)

And, of course, because Koreans love to hike, hiking is also a popular activity on Daeboreum. It even has its own name, 달맞이 (dalmaji). In order to see the first full moon of the year rise, Koreans will hike up mountains – or other high places – for the best view.

For example, in Busan’s Haeundae neighborhood, you can find a place called Dalmaji-gil, which is a piece of road incredibly popular as a full moon viewing spot.

Other celebrations

Lighting up lanterns has also been documented to have been a part of Daeboreum celebrations since the times of the Joseon Dynasty already.

Overall, many of the customs and traditions for this holiday revolve around the wish of getting an excellent harvest at the end of the farming season. Modern Koreans have remained excited about celebrating these customs even when though the country is no longer as agricultural as it once was.

There’s also a festival dedicated to Daeboreum hosted on Jeju Island each year, as well as a Fire Festival held in Busan.

Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival in Busan

Jeongwol Daeboreum (정월 대보름) refers to the festival that takes place on Daeboreum and celebrates it. During it, a lot of traditional customs are executed as people wish for a flourishing year. Due to the fire aspect, the government actually forbade the celebrations for some time during the 1970s.

However, the festival celebrations during Jeongwol Daeboreum remained so popular among Koreans that in the late 1990s, it was reinstated. Today it is celebrated in numerous locations around Korea, with Busan being one notable location.

In general, if you are in Busan or want to head that way for Jeongwol Daeboreum celebrations, the best activities can be found at Haeundae Beach, Gwanganli Beach, Songdo Beach, and Baekunpo Sports Park.

All of them will set a daljip ablaze at the appropriate time, as well as offer other fun things to do, like flying kites or tug of war. There will also be traditional performances to marvel at. And, at Baekunpo Sports Park, you can even see the jisinbalgi ritual in action!

Which are the foods eaten during Daeboreum?

Just like many other holidays in Korea, big or small, there are specific foods people are accustomed to eating on the day. In the case of 대보름 (daeboreum), the following foods are especially popular to eat.

오곡밥 (ogokbap), five-grain rice

First thing on the morning of Daeboreum, people eat this five-grain rice dish, which consists of rice, millet, and Indian millet, as well as black beans and red beans. This food is commonly served together with dried herbs. Some Koreans may also eat it together with eggplants and squash.

부럼 (bureom), assorted nuts

Also eaten in the morning, this is more of a snack rather than a full meal. Koreans crack nuts of different types to eat on 대보름 morning such as chestnuts, peanuts, ginkgo nuts, pine nuts, and walnuts. This is perhaps the most popular Korean food to consume on Daeboreum.

귀밝이술 (gwibalgisul)

While munching on those assorted nuts, Koreans will drink 귀밝이술 (gwibalgisul), which literally translates as “ear clearing wine” or “ear sharpening wine.” It was thought in the past that this wine would improve one’s hearing and also keep ear aches away. Also, it is believed that all year round, you’ll only hear good news if you drink this.

How true that turned out to be, we’re not sure, but the custom still remains in existence today.

인절미 (injeolmi)

These delicious rice cakes are made from steaming glutinous rice. The rice is steamed and then beaten until it’s reached a sticky consistency. It’s then cut into small square-shaped pieces, which are covered in bean flour before serving.

약식 (yaksik)

Finally, another special dish typically eaten on the holiday is yaksik, made with glutinous rice, as well as chestnuts, honey, pine nuts, sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It can be served in a bowl, in a form similar to cake, or in smaller bite-size pieces.

Does your country have a similar holiday to the Korean Daeboreum? Would you like to experience this in person one day? Let us know in the comments below! Learn more about Korean holidays and other aspects of Korean culture on our blog next. Korea has so many interesting holidays, such as National Foundation Day!

The post Daeboreum 대보름 – The Great Full Moon Holiday in Korea appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #18: Talking to Yourself

When it comes to talking to yourself, there are certain forms you'll want to use and other forms you'll want to avoid. These are also a part of Politeness Levels, but it's not as simple as just using casual speech out loud. This lesson will cover a few specific common forms that are used when talking to yourself.

Remember that YouTube channel Members can watch this entire series - all 24 episodes - right now. For everyone else, I'll upload one new episode every week until it's complete.

The post Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #18: Talking to Yourself appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Seokgolsa Temple – 석골사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The Seokgol-pokpo Waterfall at Seokgolsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Temple History

Seokgolsa Temple is located in a long valley west of Mt. Unmunsan (1,188 m) in northeastern Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. It’s believed that Seokgolsa Temple was first founded by the monk Beheo-seonsa in 560 A.D. It was later re-established in 773 A.D. by the monk Beopjo. Throughout the years, Seokgolsa Temple has gone by a few different names including Nojeonsa Temple, Seokdongsa Temple, and Seokgulsa Temple. In fact, it’s believed that the temple was originally called Seokgulsa Temple, or “Stone Cave Temple” in English; however, because of the local dialect, and the way that this was pronounced, it changed to Seokgolsa Temple over time.

Seokgolsa Temple was also a base for the Righteous Army that actively defended the nation against the Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-1598). The temple would be rebuilt and expanded in 1753 by the monk Hamhwa. Tragically, the temple was completely destroyed in 1950 during the Korean War (1950-1953). The temple would be restored and rebuilt starting in the 1980’s. The Samseong-gak Hall was built in 1989, the Geukrak-jeon Hall was rebuilt in 1999, and the monks’ dorms were completed in 2003.

Temple Myth

There’s a myth about Seokgolsa Temple about the head monk and his student. This student was the first in line to succeed the head monk after his passing. And because this novice monk had a noble personality that allowed him to better understand the virtues of the Buddha’s teachings, the head monk grew jealous of the novice monk. So the head monk turned the novice monk into a Gangcheoli – 강철이, which means “poisonous dragon” in English.

Wherever the Gangcheoli passed, all of the crops would wither and die. The novice monk/Gangcheoli was sad, but he still continued to study the Buddha’s teachings. After a year of being a Gangcheoli, the novice monk asked Okhwang-sangje – 옥황상제 (The Great Jade Emperor) to allow him to enter heaven, but the Great Jade Emperor denied the monk’s request. Furious, the Gangcheoli/novice monk aggressively moved throughout the air with its body causing thunder and hail. This killed all the crops on the ground, once more. And now, every year, when the barley is about to be harvested, the Gangcheoli destroys all the crops. Not the happiest of endings.

Temple Layout

You first make your way up a long valley next to the Wonseo-cheon Stream, until you eventually arrive at the cascading Seokgol-pokpo Waterfall. The waterfall slides to the side and collects in a stony pool of water at its base. The waterfall is especially beautiful just after a good rainfall, and you’re able to get close to the base of the falls in the gorge below.

Continuing on past this beautiful waterfall, you’ll pass over a stone bridge, and climb a stone set of stairs, to gain entry to the compact temple courtyard. Straight ahead of you is the newly built Geukrak-jeon Hall. And out in front of it are two book-ending seokdeung (stone lanterns). Surrounding the exterior walls are a collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life). Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll find a main altar triad centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This central image is joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). To the right of the main altar is a shrine dedicated to a black haired image of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And to the left of the main altar is a beautiful Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

To the right of the Geukrak-jeon Hall are the monks’ dorms, and to the left of the main hall is the Samseong-gak Hall, which actually identifies itself with two signboards above the dual entryways as a Sanshin-gak Hall and a Chilseong-gak Hall. However, stepping inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll in fact notice three murals hanging on the main altar. Rather oddly, the largest image of the three is dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars), which hangs to the far right. This larger image is joined to the left by two smaller images dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).

How To Get There

To get to Seokgolsa Temple, you’ll first need to get to the Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal. From the Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to catch the “Eoleum-gol – 얼음골” bus. The bus ride will last 29 stops, or 34 minutes. You’ll then need to get off at the “Wonseo – 원서” stop. From where the bus drops you off, you’ll then need to head north and cross over the “Miryangdae-ro -밀양대로” road. After crossing this road, hike up the valley that houses Seokgolsa Temple for 1.6 km, or 30 minutes.

Or you can simply take a taxi from the Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal. The taxi ride will take 25 minutes, over 27 km, and it’ll cost you 35,000 won (one way).

Overall Rating: 7/10

The rather obvious highlight to Seokgolsa Temple is the beautiful Seokgol-pokpo Waterfall at the entry of the temple grounds. It’s a beautiful, tall waterfall that you can get very close to for some amazing pictures. In addition to all of the natural beauty at Seokgolsa Temple, which also includes the towering Mt. Unmusan off in the distance, is the newer artwork in and around the temple shrine halls. While a bit more difficult to get to, it’s definitely worth a visit to the countryside in Miryang.

The Seokgol-pokpo Waterfall at the entry of Seokgolsa Temple.
Some of the cascading water.
And one more look.
The bridge that spans the Wonseo-cheon Stream.
The Geukrak-jeon Hall at Seokgolsa Temple.
One of the Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life) that adorns the exterior walls of the main hall.
The main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall.
The Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) side altar.
And the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall.
The Samseong-gak Hall at Seokgolsa Temple.
And the shaman paintings inside.
The view from the Samseong-gak Hall.
And the Brahma Bell at the temple.

‘직역하지 마’ (Don’t Translate Literally) MV | Music by C.SWAG (씨스웩)

One thing I often tell learners is to avoid using any machine translation when learning Korean. This isn't because machine translation is useless (it's useful), but because it can often give incorrect answers that the learner may not be able to understand are incorrect. Using machine translation can also help form bad habits when studying, and can become a crutch that learners rely on - instead of practicing by making their own sentences. Dictionaries are an absolutely necessary tool for learning, but it's important to think when writing sentences so that you can avoid some of the pitfalls that come with just using a translator or translating things directly.

I wanted to make a song about avoiding not only translating things directly, but also relying too much on literal translations (machine translation, etc.) when trying to learn Korean. Simply using what you know in the best way possible, and then learning and practicing, will be far more effective than keeping yourself trapped in a cage of translating everything literally.

What started out as a joke between friends is now officially a fully produced song and music video. Although it's my first song, hopefully it won't be my last. You can watch it here, and there are links in the video description to where you can download the song.

I've also included the full lyrics below the video.

직역하지 마, 어색하잖아
고민하지 마, 어렵지 않아
네 실력에 맞게 쉽게 한번 풀어봐.

나는 한국어 초보자, 하지만 모르는 게 너무 많아
빨리 말하고 싶지만, 맞는 표현이 생각 안 나
그러다 좋은 방법 하나 찾았어, 한국어 몰라도 말할 수 있어
그런데 번역기로 만든 문장이, 알고 보니 말도 안 되는 거였어

직역하지 마, 어색하잖아
사전 열어보기 전에 잘 생각해 봐
고민하지 마, 어렵지 않아
네 실력에 맞게 쉽게 한번 풀어봐!

직역하지 마, 어색하잖아
고민하지 마, 어렵지 않아
네 실력에 맞게 쉽게 한번 풀어봐!

습관처럼 나오는 번역기 찾기
역시 쉽지 않지 필요하긴 하지만
의존하지 말기, 언어는 말하기
바퀴처럼 구글 파파고 돌리기 stop please
같이 연습해 볼까
문법 발음 서툴러도 괜찮아
연습만이 살길 알잖아
너도 할 수 있어 말해봐 자신 있게!

직역하지 마, 어색하잖아
사전 열어보기 전에 잘 생각해 봐
고민하지 마, 어렵지 않아
네 실력에 맞게 쉽게 한번 풀어봐!

직역하지 마, 어색하잖아
고민하지 마, 어렵지 않아
네 실력에 맞게 쉽게 한번 풀어봐!

The post ‘직역하지 마’ (Don’t Translate Literally) MV | Music by C.SWAG (씨스웩) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Maneosa Temple – 만어사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The High-Relief of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) at Manseosa Temple in Miyang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Temple Myth

The founding of Maneosa Temple appears in the Samguk Yusa, or Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms in English. According to the Samguk Yusa, “In an antique record it is written that the site of Maneosa Temple was formerly called Mt. Jaseongsan or Mt. Ayasasan. Nearby was Garakuk [The Gaya Conferacy], where an egg descended from heaven on the seacoast from which came a man who ruled over that country. This was King Suro [of Geumgwan Gaya, 42?-199 A.D.].

“In those days there was a poisonous dragon in the mountains which lived in a jade pond and carried on with five female Nachal [Rakshasa] on the sapphire waves, calling up thunderstorms and devastating crops of the five grains throughout the four seasons.

“Using his magic art [probably shamanic], the King pronounced spells against the dragon to stop his mischief, but to no avail. It was not until he prayed to Buddha to enforce his Five Precepts [1. do no destroy life, 2. do not steal, 3. refrain from sexual desire, 4. do no lie, 5. do no consume alcohol or drugs] on the monsters that they ceased to do harm. Then the fish and dragons of the Eastern Sea came to these mountains and filled the valley with water and lived there, making music by striking jade stones with their heads and tails.” As a thank you, King Suro built Maneosa Temple for the Buddha’s help in 46 A.D.

Temple History

However, the Samguk Yusa states that the temple was first founded in 1180 A.D. Specifically, the Samguk Yusa says, “In the eleventh year of King Myeongjeong of Goryeo (1180), Maneosa Temple was first built on this mountain [Mt. Maneosan].” After the founding of Manseosa Temple, it was used as a place for the kings of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) to hold Buddhist services. Maneosa Temple was later rebuilt in 1506. And from 1879, Maneosa Temple was rebuilt for a final time. While smaller in size than when it was initially built, Maneosa Temple is beautifully located in the southeast of Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do on the side of Mt. Maneosan (669.4 m).

In total, Maneosa Temple is home to one Korean Treasure, the Three-Story Stone Pagoda of Maneosa Temple; and it’s also the site of the Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain, which is a Natural Monument since 2011.

Temple Layout

You first approach Maneosa Temple, which means “Ten Thousand Fish Temple” in English, up a long and steep mountain road. Finally, you’ll arrive at the temple parking lot. To your back, and facing away from the main temple courtyard, you’ll find the Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain. These rocks that are known as a block stream were first formed as the rocks fell away from later formations caused by erosion and weathering over an extended period of time. More specifically, this rock formation, which stretches some 700 metres long and down the valley, were formed as a result of heavy rainfall at the end of the Ice Age on the Korean Peninsula. According to a myth, on the other hand, these rocks used to be five Nachal [Rakshasa] and a dragon that lived in the area. Together, they would do evil deeds. Then one day, they heard the Buddha’s sermon and turned into stone. Purportedly, all of these stones are turned towards the peak of Mt. Maneosan; and if you tap one of these rocks, it’ll either sound like iron or jade.

Back at the main temple courtyard, and up the set of stone stairs, you’ll see a colourful Jong-ru Pavilion to your far left. Housed inside the Jong-ru Pavilion is a stout Brahma Bell capped by an image of Poroe. And next to the Jong-ru Pavilion are the monks’ dorms and administrative offices.

Straight ahead of you, on the other hand, is the compact Daeung-jeon Hall. Surrounding the exterior walls to the main hall are a beautiful set of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life Murals). Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a triad of statues on the main altar. In the centre of this triad sits an image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha), who is joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). The interior of the Daeung-jeon Hall is filled with wonderful colours and shrines. To the left of the main altar is a golden image dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And to the right of the main altar is a green haired image of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And on the far right wall is an older Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And beneath an all-white image of Gwanseeum-bosal, and resting an the altar, is a picture of the former Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun.

Out in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall are a pair of newly built seokdeung (stone lanterns). They are joined by the Three-Story Stone Pagoda of Maneosa Temple to the right. The pagoda is typical of this era in design, while it seems to be a bit off-centre from the current Daeung-jeon Hall. However, the wide ground behind the pagoda indicates the location of a former, original temple shrine hall. This pagoda appears to have been built some time during the mid-Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392).

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Samseong-gak Hall. The exterior of this shaman shrine hall, surprisingly, is only adorned with the traditional dancheong colours. However, stepping inside the Samseong-gak Hall, you’ll find a collection of the three most popular shaman deities in Korean Buddhism. In the centre rests an image dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). Joining this central image inside the Samseong-gak Hall are Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).

Next to the Samseong-gak Hall is a masterful high-relief stone rendering dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). And not too surprisingly, this image faces towards the west.

Slightly to the left, and through a pathway that leads through a section of the Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain is the temple’s most unique hall. As you approach, you’ll first notice that the shrine hall is actually a two-story structure. And wrapped around the exterior walls are a cute collection of Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals). Strangely, there’s a large portion of the back wall removed from this temple shrine hall. And once you enter, you’ll see a massive rock housed inside this temple shrine hall.

The myth, which also appears in the Samguk Yusa, is related to the son of the Dragon King, Yongwang, who came from the East Sea and crossed the Nakdong River. He did this because he realized that death was near. He came looking for the famous monk at Mt. Mucheoksan. The son of Yongwang asked the monk for a new place to live. The monk told him of a place where a prince sat and rested. And after the prince eventually left after resting, thousands of fish followed Yongwang’s son to where Maneosa Temple is presently located. As for the prince, he turned into Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) and appeared on the large rock now housed in the unique temple shrine hall at Maneosa Temple. As for the ten thousand fish that followed Yongwang’s son, they turned into the thousands of black rocks known as Eosanbulyeong at the front of the temple grounds. And now, if you pray to this massive rock inside the temple shrine hall at Maneosa Temple, you’ll be blessed with a son.

How To Get There

From Miryang Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to bound a bus for “Samnang-jin – 삼랑진.” From this bus, you’ll then need to get off at the Samnang-jin Station and board a local bus bound for “Ugok-ri – 우곡리.” It’s from the Ugok-ri stop that you’ll have to walk the rest of the way to Maneosa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

There are several reasons that this temple rates as highly as it does. First, it has a beautiful location with the Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain out in front and through the temple grounds. Additionally, the artwork in and around the temple grounds is beautiful, including the high-relief dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). There are also a couple of unique features at Maneosa Temple like the shrine dedicated to Roh Moo-hyun and the temple shrine hall with a massive rock inside it. Additionally, there are numerous myths connected to this historic temple, as well, from the Samguk Yusa.

The Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain, which is a Korean Natural Monument.
The Jong-ru Pavilion at the entry of the temple.
And a look inside at the Brahma Bell.
The Daeung-jeon Hall at Maneosa Temple.
And a look inside the main hall.
The shrine dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
As well as one dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
The picture of Roh Moo-hyun under a painting of Gwanseeum-bosal.
A look towards the Samseong-gak Hall and high-relief of Amita-bul from the historic three-story pagoda at Maneosa Temple.
The Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
A look across some of the Block Stream in Maneosan Mountain and the two-story special structure at the temple.
A look up at the unique two-story structure.
That seems to have a rock tail.
And the massive rock inside the two-story structure from the temple myth.

Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #17: Intro to the Plain Form

The Plain Form is an essential grammar conjugation that's used in both writing and in speaking. It's useful not only in various grammar forms, but also as a regular speech style. However, it plays a unique role when used together with politeness levels, and I'll explain how that works throughout this course.

Remember that this course is completely free, and every week I'll post one new lesson until it's complete. The series will have 24 episodes in total. If you're a YouTube channel Member, you can even watch the rest of the episodes right now in advance.

The post Master Politeness Levels with Billy Go | #17: Intro to the Plain Form appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Nawonsa Temple – 나원사 (Gyeongju)

The Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri at Nawonsa Temple in Gyeongju.

Temple History

Nawonsa Temple is located in the northern part of Gyeongju in Nawon-ri. Nawonsa Temple is a restored temple that was recently rebuilt in 1975. The temple was named after its location in Nawon-ri. Before it was rebuilt, the temple was known as the Nawon-ri Temple Site. The temple site was also known as the Nanwonsa Temple Site. Additionally, the temple was once known as Daegakam Hermitage in recognition of the founder of the temple.

But Nawonsa Temple is most famous for the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri, which is National Treasure #39. The historic pagoda dates back to the 8th century and is located out in front of the newly built Nawonsa Temple. At the entrance of Nawonsa Temple, there was stone pagoda material, earthenware, and tiles from Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.) and the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) discovered around the temple site.

Temple Layout

Down a few country roads and past the scenic Hyeongsan Rivers is the well hidden Nawonsa Temple. When you first approach the temple grounds, you’ll pass by the temple parking lot, which is located just outside the former temple site. Passing through a clearing, you’ll notice an elevated pagoda to the rear of this clearing. This is the Five-story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri. Next to the East and West Three-Story Stone Pagodas at the Gameunsa Temple Site in eastern Gyeongju, which is National Treasure #112, the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri is the largest extant stone pagoda in Gyeongju. Remarkably, the pagoda at Nawonsa Temple has retained most of its white colour, which has earned it the nickname of “Nawon Baektap.” In English, this means “White Pagoda of Nawon-ri.” This historic pagoda dates back to the 8th century, and it stands an impressive ten metres in height. The body of the pagoda consists of one solid stone and five-stories. The five-stories are well-proportioned and sit atop a two-story platform. Sadly, only the broken pole that sits atop the pagoda and its base are all that remain of the crowning finial. Overall, the pagoda has a beautiful sense of harmony.

Past the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri, and in a bend in the road to the left of this historic pagoda, is Nawonsa Temple. The newly built temple is located at the base of a small mountain. Straight ahead, and past a collection of temple facilities, is the diminutive concrete Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior of the main hall is unpainted all but for the dancheong colours. There are a pair of stone lanterns out in front of the elevated Daeung-jeon Hall. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll notice a collection of white statues on the main altar. Sitting in the centre of these seven statues is an image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). Hanging on the far left wall is the temple’s Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural), as well as a mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).

The only other temple shrine hall at Nawonsa Temple is the Samseong-gak Hall. The shaman shrine hall is located to the left rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall and up a set of innumerable stairs. Housed inside the unadorned exterior of the Samseong-gak Hall are three shaman murals. In the centre hangs a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Star). To its left is a mural dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King). And the final mural housed inside the Samseong-gak Hall is dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).

How To Get There

From the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take Bus #232. After 21 stop, or 30 minutes, you’ll need to get off at the Nawonsa Temple entrance stop (나원사 입구) then walk towards the temple.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Rather obviously, the main highlight to Nawonsa Temple is the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri. Both its age and graceful lines make it a beautiful site to see. Additionally, the murals inside the Daeung-jeon Hall are another thing to keep an eye out for when visiting this lesser known Gyeongju temple.

The Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri at the entry of Nawonsa Temple.
A closer look at the historic pagoda.
The bend in the road leading towards the newly built Nawonsa Temple.
One final look at the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri.
The Daeung-jeon Hall at Nawonsa Temple.
A Banya Yongseon-do (Dragon Ship of Wisdom) outside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) on the left and the mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) to the right.
The long stairs leading up to the Samseong-gak Hall.
The understated Samseong-gak Hall.
The mural of Chilseong (The Seven Stars) inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
As well as this mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
And Yongwang (The Dragon King).

Korean Blood Type Personality – All about this theory

Do you know about the Korean blood type personality? Though it may ring weird to our ears, asking someone what their blood type is can be quite commonplace in Korean society. You can liken it to something similar to the horoscopes in Western cultures.

In other words, it’s a way to grasp a general understanding of what someone’s personality might be like. Though, of course, it’s more for fun rather than something super serious and scientifically proven.

Four blood droplets cartoons holding cards with A, B, AB, and O written on them

Would you, too, like to know your personality based on your blood type? Or perhaps you’d like to know what Koreans would think of you or themselves based on the specific blood types you possess? Keep reading to find out all these fun details about blood types and personality traits in Korea!

What are the different blood types?

There are four primary blood type groups: A, B, AB, and O. Each of which can be categorized as RhD positive or RhD negative, making a total of 8 blood types. However, in gauging blood type personalities, you will only have to determine your blood type among the primary blood groups.

Why do Koreans believe that blood type can determine a person’s personality?

Associating one’s blood type with a person’s personality has been a part of the Korean culture for around a century now. The Western world looks at different horoscopes to examine blood type compatibility with each other.

But in Korea, they may deem someone’s likability or potential as a romantic partner based on their blood type. Koreans even believe that a specific blood type can give important information on someone’s health status.

How the Blood Type Personality Theory began

The history of how one’s blood type can determine personality, health status, and more is quite bleak. It was initially incepted by Nazi Germany, where studies were conducted by analyzing blood type distribution. From here, a Japanese scholar picked up the framing and developed the theory of a link between personality and blood type.

It caught wind in Japan, although not so much within actual medical circles. From there, it spread to other countries in Asia, notably South Korea and Taiwan.

In South Korea, the idea of blood type determining your personality theory shot into popularity in the early 2000s. During this time, it became mainstream to feature these theories in TV programs and films and even in many pop songs.

The Different Korean blood type personalities

Now it’s time to go over each blood type and explain what personality is assumed from each one. This includes their best and worst traits and even the worst blood type compatibility.

Blood Type A

This blood type is typically seen as more conservative and introverted in comparison to other blood types. They’re expected to be quite considerate of others and are admirably punctual and patient.

Best traits

Some of their best traits are how loyal and creative they are. They do not trust easily, but once they do, you can rest assured they are loyal to you at a die-hard level.

Because those with blood type A are often perfectionists, they will absolutely go the extra mile to make sure everything has been done correctly and with care. They are valued for their trustworthiness as well as for how responsible and hardworking they often are.

Negative traits

On the flip side, they’re also assumed to be quite sensitive and lacking in courage. Trusting others or expressing various emotions also doesn’t come easy to them. With the amount of sensitivity they possess, it becomes easy for them to take things personally and thus tend to get hurt more easily.

You may also find a blood type A personality to be obsessive, secretive, and overall quite closed off. They may also be, unfortunately, quite self-conscious. They even lean towards having OCD, making them worry about unnecessary things sometimes.

Unique trait

Funnily, they are also said to be the worst with alcohol tolerance but also the healthiest eater among all the blood types.

Blood type Compatibility

Blood type A is best compatible with O and worst compatible with B.

Blood Type B

People possessing type B blood are often seen as the kind of people who enjoy life and don’t care much about what others think of themselves. They have independent natures and have their own set of rules they follow, rather than going simply by what society dictates.

Positive traits

They want to get the best out of their lives and run toward their passions. They are highly curious, to the point where they may end up making numerous impulsive decisions. Some of their best traits are their sense of individualism and optimism, along with their animal-loving personality.

Blood type B people are incredibly honest and caring. Thanks to their outgoing, social butterfly personality, they also have an easy time making friends. Their honesty sometimes leads them into trouble, as they are not scared of bluntly speaking out in any situation, while others may wish for harmony and discreet behavior instead.

Negative traits

Unfortunately, others may see a blood type B person as someone who is self-centered and is considered shallow. And if some person or matter isn’t a passion, they may not move a muscle for it.

Additional bad traits of a blood type B person are their impatience and recklessness, on top of which they may also be quite moody and hold a high sense of pride. They may also be quite forgetful, especially over things that don’t align with their passions. Not everyone can handle their free and wild-spirited nature.

Unique trait

And as a fun tidbit, blood type B people typically have strong immune systems.

Blood type Compatibility

Blood type B is best compatible with AB and worst compatible with A.

Blood Type AB

Although in possession of a high level of intelligence and interest in a diverse array of things, type AB people are considered quite unpredictable, in good and bad. They’re deemed to be quite quirky and often lost in their own world.

Positive traits

Although they seem largely unpredictable, they are quite rational and practical and have great self-control.

Much like blood type A, they also like to be meticulous with their work. Overall, they have a positive outlook on life.

Negative traits

On the more negative side, the type AB blood people only like to do things that serve them personally. They likewise tend to stay away from situations that offer any type of complexity or drama.

They like their own company a lot and have characteristics similar to being shy and aloof – which to others may show as coldness.

Others may also see them as critical and indecisive, and even unforgiving. You’ll have a hard time convincing them to think with their hearts rather than their heads.

Unique trait

In northeast Asia, it is in particular blood type AB that people sometimes tend to think less of in comparison to other blood types. This is precisely due to their unpredictableness.

Blood type Compatibility

Blood type AB is best compatible with AB and is the worst match with O.

Blood Type O

Those with blood type O seem to be natural leaders and, in general, are quite well-rounded. They are outgoing, easygoing, and like to have an optimistic attitude, in addition to which they are not afraid to speak their mind.

Best traits

Some of their best traits are that they’re friendly and energetic. Besides being born to lead, blood type O people can also be really successful with sports.

Negative traits

Sometimes their honesty and outspoken demeanor get understood as them being condescending or overly opinionated by others. They may even come across as arrogant or dramatic, even when they are just being expressive or confident.

It’s tough for them to apologize, and their overly-competitive nature may make them sore losers. On occasion, their stubbornness and insensitivity may get the best of them.

Unique trait

Although type O blood people can be great conversationalists, they prefer to act instead of speak and are quite ambitious.

Blood type Compatibility

Blood type O is best compatible with A and worst compatible with AB.

What blood type are you? Does the personality description of your blood type match your true personality? Which blood type would be most appropriate for you based on these personality traits? Do you find theories like these interesting in general? Let us know below in the comments!

Now that you have learned about a fun cultural thing such as Korean blood type personality, perhaps you’d like to discover more insight on Korean work culture or drinking culture next?

The post Korean Blood Type Personality – All about this theory appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Mangwolsa Temple – 망월사 (Gyeongju)

A Look Through the Entry Gate at Mangwolsa Temple.

Temple History

Mangwolsa Temple is located on the northwestern side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju. And just under a hundred metres to the north is Sambulsa Temple. Mangwolsa Temple is a modern temple of the Wonhyo-jong Sect of Korean Buddhism. The Wonhyo-jong Sect is one of twenty-seven Buddhist sects recognized by the Korean government. It was founded in July, 1963 by the monk Haein. Then in August, 1967, Mangwolsa Temple became the headquarters of the sect. Currently, the headquarters of the sect is located out of Seoul.

The sect, rather obviously, reveres the teachings of Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). The Wonhyo-jong Sect is organized around the exclusion of superstitious and secular elements that have become mixed in with Korean Buddhism. For this, they focus on learning the fundamental doctrines of the Buddha and the ideas of Wonhyo-daesa.

Temple Layout

Just to the right (south) of Sambulsa Temple, and standing in the Mt. Namsan parking lot that the two temples share, you’ll notice Mangwolsa Temple to your right through the trees. Past a four foot high wall that separates the temple from the world is the former headquarters for the Wonhyo-jong Sect.

As you approach the temple, you’ll pass through a beautiful entry gate with fierce-looking guardians painted on the doors that protect the temple from evil spirits. They are Heng and Ha. Having passed through the temple entry gate, you’ll notice the monks’ dorms and administrative offices to your left and right. These long temple structures frame the main hall that lies in the middle and back.

The exterior walls to the Daeung-jeon Hall are adorned with Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals). As for the interior, and stepping inside the main hall, you’ll find a triad of statues on the main altar. This triad is centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) and joined by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). To the left, and still on the main altar, is a mural dedicated to Wonhyo-daesa. And a bit further to the left is a shrine for the dead. To the right of the main altar, on the other hand, is an older looking Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

Adjacent, and to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall, is a beautiful pagoda that sits elevated in the centre of a lotus pond. The pagoda is simple in design, but it accents the overall aesthetic of the pink lotus flowers that bloom in the pond.

Behind this pagoda pond, and situated on an upper courtyard, are two additional temple shrine halls. The larger one to the left is the Samseong-gak Hall. The exterior walls are adorned with paintings dedicated to the Sinseon (Taoist Immortals). As for the interior of the shaman shrine hall, and resting in the centre of the three murals, is a painting dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). To the right of this central image is an amazingly descriptive mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). And to the left of the central image of Chilseong, and rather uniquely, is an image dedicated to what looks to be Jeseok-cheon (Indra). This is a triad I have yet to encounter anywhere else in Korea.

And to the right of the Samseong-gak Hall is the other temple shrine hall in the upper courtyard. This is a memorial hall. Inside this small octagonal hall is a black wooden memorial tablet for the dead. Perhaps it’s dedicated to either Wonhyo-daesa or Haein (the founding monk to the Wonhyo-jong Sect), but this is just an educated guess.

How To Get There

To get to Mangwolsa Temple from the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take either Bus #502 or #504 located across from the bus terminal. To make sure you’re headed to Mangwolsa Temple, you should ask the bus driver “Namsan Mangwolsa”?

You can take a bus or you can simply take a taxi from the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal. Again, you’ll need to say “Namsan Mangwolsa.” In total, the ride should cost about 10,000 won (one way), and it should drop you off in the Mt. Namsan parking lot. Veering to your right and away from the bathroom complex, you’ll see a small trail. Take this trail for about 50 metres.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Mangwolsa Temple has one of the prettier locations for a pagoda. The pagoda rests atop a small, circular lotus pond. Adding to this originality is the mural dedicated to what looks to be Jeseok-cheon (Indra) inside the Samseong-gak Hall. The temple is also beautifully located on the northern slopes of Mt. Namsan near Sambulsa Temple and the Samneung-gol Valley. The area can make for quite a beautiful day of exploring.

The entry gate to the Mangwolsa Temple grounds.
Ha, who is one of the two guardians, that adorns the entry gate.
That’s joined by Heng, another temple guardian.
A look towards the Daeung-jeon Hall.
One of the Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals) that adorns the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A painting dedicated to Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.) inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look towards the upper courtyard.
The three-story pagoda that stands in the centre of a lotus pond at Mangwolsa Temple.
The Samseong-gak Hall (left) and hexagonal memorial shrine hall (right).
Chilseong (The Seven Stars) inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
And Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), who also resides inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
And what looks to be Jeseok-cheon (Indra) inside the Samseong-gak Hall, as well.
A look inside the hexagonal memorial shrine hall.

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