World ? Asia ? South Korea

Baekje Cultural Festival

Oct 2009 (annual)
Cost: Free
Telephone: +82 (0) 418 302 426
Telephone 2: +82 (0) 418 302 541
Fax: +82 (0) 418 346 171
Link: Korean website
This is one of the biggest cultural festivals in South Korea! It remembers and celebrates the achievements of the Baekje (or Paekche) civilization which flourished in Korea from 18BC-660AD. Widely acknowledged by scholars to have been an apogee in the history of Korean art and culture, its influence on Japan is also well documented.
The Festival is held in alternate years in the cities of GongJu and Buyeo. These cities were the capitals of the ancient Baekje kingdom.

Elegance and delicacy are the key terms - in dance, food, music and style.

The Baekje Festival attracts more than 10,000 people. Spectacular performing arts are staged - there is a Baekje Spirit Fire Torch Ceremony, Shamanistic Rituals, a King's Parade, a Lotus Lantern Parade by Buddhist monks in orange robes as well as masked dances and the Flower Crown Dance.

The Baekje Kingdom founded its first capital at Gonju but later swopped to Buyeo. Thus the site of the festival changes every year, as the two ancient and beautiful cities take turns to host this vibrant cultural feast.

The 2001 programme features a Chwitadae performance (old-time band of wind percussion instruments), a fan dance, Hwagwanmu (Ceremonial Coronet Dance)and the Baekje queen and princess beauty pagent among some 60 other celebrations and events with more than 9,000 performers participating.
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