|4342 (2009) Dodang-je Ceremony
of the "Samgak Dodang-ji" San-shin Shrine
Held at the Shamanic Mountain-spirit Altar on the east side of Seoul's Three-Horns Mountain
The public Samgak-san Dodang-je [Village-Shrine Ritual Festival] is held every 3rd
Day of the 3rd Moon (Lunar Calendar 3.3), which was Sunday March 29th in 2009.
For full introduction and explanation of its procedure, see my 2007 Dodang-je pages.
On this page, I will try to show some aspects that weren't covered there.
This year we had wonderfully-clear Spring weather, and many of my friends and
students (from seven different countries other than Korea!) joined in watching the
shamanic rituals at the classic shrine, with a large crowd.
See my Samgak-Sanshin-je page for a general introduction, if you haven't already.
|Promotional banner at the entrance to Choga-jip [Mother-in-Law's House] Restaurant compound, in back of which is the ancient shrine.
Starting the characteristic ritual in front of the Gut-dang Altar loaded with offerings (mostly grain-based, but
including a pig's head), a famous Manshin [Mudang, Korean female Shaman] chants prayers to the Samgak-Sanshin
while two elder officiants in Confucian clothing tap fresh-cut local saplings (young trees) into bowls of rice and
cash-donations, which causes the "male" spirits of this mountain (representing Insu-bong and
Manggyeong-dae Peaks) to become embedded in those saplings.
|They then parade, very slowly, the 15 meters from the gut-dang over to the
The two elder male officiants carry the sacred boughs with eyers closed while chanting
an invocation of the mountain-spirit, shaking them rhythmically to demonstrate the
|political & social leaders bow to the Samgak-san Sanshin
|Myself with (L to R) National Assembly Representative for this District Chung Yang-seok, Gangbuk-gu's spirited Mayor Kim
Hyun-pung, and Cha Seung-hyeon, the owner of the Choga-jip & this altar/shrine and founder/chairman of the association.
|Mr. Cha is always honored as the first speaker
Mayor Kim declares the reasons
for his devotion to these mountains,
their spirit and this ritual.
|my turn to speak about the same
|We play a kind of fortune-telling game with initial letters, to determine the rank-order of the officiants of next year's ceremony.