Andong Mask Dance Festival

On October 8, we went to the Andong Mask Dance Festival in Hahoe Village.  This is an annual celebration of a satirical play and dance.  It has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Asset of Korea.  (I’m not sure what else is on the list of Important Intangible Cultural Assets, but it sounds promising.) 

It was a sponsored group trip.  Words don’t do it much justice, so I’ll share some pictures instead.

After an hour and a half bus ride, we were greeted by a group of middle schoolers from a nearby town.  They were our hosts for most of the day.  They were a sweet group, and most spoke some English.  As usual, they adored the kids.  However, it was a little overwhelming, as our family of 6 had at least 6 hosts, maybe more.

Our first activity was a trip through the mask museum.  There were many ancient traditional Korean masks, as well as masks from many other cultures.

After an interesting (but very crowded) tour through the museum, we were treated to lunch at a local restaurant.  The food was incredible.  Gianna and Aliya wanted to sit Korean-style at the low table, so they ate with our hosts.

And here I am with Ezekiel, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

After lunch, we boarded the bus again for a short ride to Hahoe, a traditional Korean village.
We enjoyed front row seats at a very crowded performance of the mask dance. 

The play was a little bit over our heads.  (It wasn’t until we got home, of course, that I realized the program we bought had the whole story in English.)

After the performance, we walked through the breathtaking rice fields surrounding the amphitheater to the heart of the village. 

There we bought some souvenirs and meandered through the picturesque village.

On our way back out of the village, we watched a man catch grasshoppers in the fields.  At first I thought it must be some traditional form of organic farming. 

After catching some other people doing the same, we figured it was something else.  Dinner, perhaps?

(Can any of you explain how to rotate this picture?  I rotated and saved it using Paint. but when I upload it, it’s still sideways.)