Ch'un-hyang Festival

Ch'un-hyang Festival

May
This celebration in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do, Korea, honors Ch'un-hyang, a symbol of female virtue. She is the heroine of the ancient Korean story, Ch'un-hyangjon, which tells of the love between a commoner and a nobleman. During the festival, her story is reenacted, and other events include a p'ansori, or "narrative song" contest, a swinging competition, traditionally enjoyed by young women, and a Miss Ch'un-hyang beauty pageant.
Ch'un-hyang was the daughter of a kisaeng, or female entertainer, and she and a nobleman's son, Yi Mongnyong, fell in love and were secretly married. Soon after, he was transferred from Namwon to Seoul. The new governor of Namwon was corrupt and licentious, and he wanted Ch'un-hyang. But even though she was beaten, she didn't give in to his advances. Finally Yi Mongnyong returned to Namwon as provincial inspector. He punished the governor and took Ch'un-hyang as his official bride. To Koreans, this is a favorite tale of love and fidelity and also a symbol of the resistance by common people to privileged classes.
CONTACTS:
City of Namwon
Cultural Information Center
Namwon
Jeollabuk-do, Korea
82-63-620-6544; fax: 82-63-620-6535
www.namwon.go.kr/en
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 128