The 8th Mt. Palgong Traditional Temple Bazaar Seungsi Festival: 10:00~20:00 October 6~9
Jointly hosted by Daegu Metropolitan City and Donghwasa Temple and supervised by the Mt. Palgong Traditional Temple Bazaar Festival Steering Committee, the 8th Seungsi Festival was held during the Chuseok holiday from Friday, October 6 to Monday, October 9 (Mon) in the Donghwasa Temple vicinity. The festival is a modern interpretation of the barter market of Buddhist monks during the Joseon Dynasty.
m Seungsi (literally, “monk’s market”) was a barter market exclusively for Buddhist monks and was operated deep in the mountains during the Joseon Dynasty. Since 2010, Daegu Metropolitan City has hosted a reenactment of the seungsi to highlight the unique historical heritage for Daegu residents and tourists.
m In its eighth run this year, the festival was made up of a Marketplace, a Food Area, an Exhibition Area, Traditional Game Area, an Artist’s Marketplace, each featuring its own program and events, offering visitors a rich variety of things to see and do.
m This year’s festival took full advantage of the long Chuseok holiday with a reenacted traditional marketplace and programs for visitors to enjoy with their families. The performing troupe Hamkkesaneun Sesang gave a madanggeuk (outdoor theater) performance, while local artists put on street performances for the duration of the festival. More than 50 teams of handicraft artisans in the Daegu-Gyeongsangbukdo area opened a special “Artist’s Marketplace.”
A variety of programs were offered for all ages. The Kid’s Zone featured an Air Bounce, while shade canopies were set up at the performance venue and ssireum arena for adult audiences to enjoy the festival proceedings in comfort.
< Map of the Event Grounds>
m The major festival events:
‒ The festival began at 10 am on October 6. On the same day, a Buddhist-style opening ceremony was held at 3 pm during the unification dharma talk. The ceremony included performances by the Buddhist Choir Union and an acapella group and a mini-concert overseen by Jeongmok Seunim.
‒ At 2 pm on October 7 and 8, ssireumcontests were held. At 5 pm on October 8, a Monks’ Beopgo Contest was held that featured monk contestants vying for first place in a beopgo (large drum found at Buddhist temples) performance.
‒ A major hands-on experience was the “Balu gongyang” experience that was held from October 6 through 9 at 11 am each day at Donghwasa Temple’s Temple Stay Center (balu gongyang refers to the unique meal protocol at Buddhist temples in Korea that is based on the spirit of non-possession). (Advance online reservation was required at the festival website (www.seungsi.com) / availability: 40 people per day / first-come, first-served)
At 6 pm on October 7, the “Daegu-Gyeongbuk Moonlight Tea Contest” was held, in which visitors were able to experience a variety of teas, and learn about tea ceremony etiquette and tea tools.
‒ The festival featured three major performances: the “Buddhist Congratulatory Concert” for the opening ceremony at 3 pm on October 6, the fusion-classical performance “TongTong Hanmadang” at 5 pm on October 7, and a traditional Korean music concert at 2 pm on October 9. For the duration of the festival, the mandanggeuk performance “The Tiger Who Lost His Tail” was presented each day at 1 pm and a namsadang nori performance at 3:30 pm.
m The following exhibition events were held every day during the festival: fall chrysanthemum display, traditional lantern exhibit, Special Invited Exhibition by the Buddhist Museum (Manhaeng-Buddhist Heritage Exhibit and a calligraphy carving exhibition). There were also a number of hands-on events, including a traditional Buddhist cultural experience, an Everyday Buddhist culture experience, and an East Asian culture experience. The Marketplace featured a reenactment of the traditional seungsi, a modern “monks’ market,” and an area for tasting temple food. There was also an Artist’s Marketplace.
m In accordance with expectations that traffic congestion near Donghwasa Temple would be heavy during the festival period due to the combination of the Chuseok holiday with people’s autumn travel plans, Daegu Metropolitan City increased the services of two medium-route buses (Express Bus No. 1) from Dongdaegu Station to the festival grounds for greater visitor convenience. The city also supervised the operation of eight shuttle buses (14-seat electric vehicles) between the Donghwasa Temple bus stop (Cine 80) and Donghwamun and from Bonghwangmun to Tongilgyo Bridge.
m Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin stated, “The Seungsi Festival represents a unique cultural and historical heritage of Daegu. We will do our best to further develop the festival so it becomes one of Korea’s most prominent local showcase tourist festivals and provides a variety of entertainment for Korean and international tourists.”