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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chuseok Folk Games : 강강술래 Ganggangsullae

강강술래 Ganggangsullae

is a 5,000-year-old traditional Korean dance. It was first used to bring a good harvest and has become a cultural symbol for Korea and mostly played in Chuseok event (Korean Thanksgiving).
The dance is thought to have come from about 5,000 years ago when the Koreans believed that the Sun, Moon, and Earth controlled the world. The people (almost always girls in hanboks) would dance under the brightest full moon of the year in order to bring a good harvest.
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Traditionally, this dance not done with any instruments. Young and old women dance in a circle at night under the moonlight. They go outside in hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, hold hands, make a circle, and start rotating clockwise. The lead singer sings a line. Then, the rest of the people all sing, 'ganggangsullae'. Then the lead singer sings another line, and the rest of the people reply, 'ganggangsullae'. This is probably where the name of the song came from. As the dance continues, the tempo of the song can get faster. They sing about their personal hardships, relationships, and wants. During the dance, the women also play some games. The ganggangsullae can last until dawn.

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