Andong Mask Dance Festival
Last weekend I had been to Andong to witness the Mask Dance Festival with Seoul Hiking Group led by Warren. Andong is the spiritual capital of Korea and every year it holds the International Mask Dance festival during autumn. Andong became very popular after Queen Elizabeth II visited that place.
During our trip first we went to see the Hahoe Folk Village which is listed by the South Korean Government with UNESCO as the World Heritage site with Folk Village having real dwellers. We first saw the village from the top of the Buyongdae cliff to get a panoramic view of the entire Hahoe village. This is the best place to take pictures of the village. When you look down at Hahoe Village from the steep cliff, the village seems to be floating on the water just like lotus flowers as it is surrounded by the meandering Nakdonggang River.
Then we went to Byeongsan-seowon. This place was visited by George Bush and his son twice. Seowon is a type of local academy during the Joseon Dynasty. It is one of the picturesque location in Korea surrounded by lush green mountains.
From there we went to a local restaurant to have Andong jjimdak. The restaurant was a landmark in itself as the owner of the restaurant is an artist of wooden carvings. The restaurant garden was decorated by his wooden carvings giving a feel as if I was walking in a museum. We finally had some tasty jjimdak (boiled chicken and vegetables marinated in Korean soy sauce).
From there we headed to the interiors of Hahoe village to check the various Hahoe Mask Dance performance. We spend an entire evening there watching some performances in the village, taking pictures, shopping, experiencing village cuisines and finally witnessing the fire work display at the bank of the river.
Next day we headed to Andong City to witness the International Mask Dance Festival. There were artists performing from different countries like Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand and other places. This place was like a fair with various shops selling soju, ginseng, mask souvenir, clothes and everything imaginable. It was a fun place with so many people.
Below are the pictures of this event.