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Arts & Culture: Namsangol Hanok Village -- "Ice Flower Festival" Updated: 2014-01-03 12:07:01 KST

Arts & Culture: Namsangol Hanok Village --
And now it's time for our final Arts & Culture segment of the week with Lee Tae Ho. Today, Tae Ho will be filling us in on a wonderful winter weekend festival that the whole family can enjoy. Good afternoon, Tae Ho.

Good afternoon, Conn-young.

So many of the holiday festivities are dying down, but there's still something plenty of events to check out.

That's right, Conn-young. Just because the holidays are over, doesn't mean that there is nothing to do on the weekends
The city of Seoul is rife with things to do at any time of the year, such as this, literally, cool festival that I'll be telling everybody about today.



Voted as one of the most beautiful and scenic sites in all of Seoul, the Namsangol Hanok Village, located in Jung-gu, Seoul on the northern base of Mount Namsan, remains open to visitors all year around.
It is a village of Hanoks, which are the traditional houses of the Joseon Dynasty, a period from 1392 to 1897 -- that lasted a whopping five centuries.

Located in one of the five most historically beautiful spots in Seoul, during the Joseon Dynasty it was called "Jeonghakdong," which literally translates into "The land beautiful enough to attract cranes."
The five Hanoks that are currently situated in the village are the homes of citizens ranging from the middle to upper classes.
And the homes are furnished according to the classes of the time, to better educate visitors of the lifestyles of the different classes during this period of Korean history.


"This is great, because I can show my children the lifestyle of our ancestors and their attachments and affections as well, so the children are excited. And the children can see and learn that our grandparents lived in homes like these."

There are a variety of different activities for visitors to enjoy aside from the traditional homes, such as the "neoltwiggi," or sea-saw jumping, and the "tuho," which is the throwing of arrows into a tube.
There are also a variety of different festivals and events held during the winter season.

The village also holds different special events based on the holidays of the lunar calendar.
For instance, on the upcoming Lunar New year at the end of January, traditional "ddeuk gook," a rice cake soup, will be served to 3-thousand visitors over a period of two days.


"Here at the Namsan Hanok Village, the 24 divisions of the year are divided up, and during the most important subdivision of seasons, the foods of that season are prepared for tasting and showcasing as well."

And that is not all, the "Ice Flower Festival" is being held as well right now at the Hanok village.
The festival showcases different ice sculptures that represent different cultural treasures of Korea.
One such sculpture is titled the "Tteongme," or rice-cake mallet, which is a scene of the women during the Joseon Dynasty preparing traditional rice cake re-created completely in ice.


"It's really amazing how big they are and how they look the same as the buildings. We were looking around in the afternoon, we were looking around some old places with traditional houses, it's amazing. Some of the sculptures are like real houses except in ice."

Another lifelike ice sculpture is the Dabotop Pagoda, located in the Bulguksa Temple, which was built during the unified Silla period.
It known for its unique sculptural style that is not found in either China or Japan.

There is also the sculpture of Cheomseongdae Observatory, in the current city of Gyeongju, which was used during the Silla period to observe the stars and predict good or bad luck for the kingdom.

The beautiful ice sculptures lit up at night offer a perfect finish to a walk around the Hanok Village and would make for a great weekend outing with the family.

The Hanok Village is open year around in the Jung-gu area of central Seoul until 8 PM in the evening. The "Ice Flower Festival" will run until the 20th of January, or until the sculptures melt -- and this wonderful historic village and park are free to all visitors.


This sounds like a wonderful way to get out and get some air with the whole family.

And the different lights that reflect off the ice make for an absolutely perfect backdrop for photos together with friends and family.

It also seems like a great way to learn more about historic Korean traditions and culture, as well as how the people of the time lived their lives.

That's right, just viewing the way the houses were designed gives you a sense of how different members of the family were separated into quarters that were closest to the areas they would access most frequently.

And the ice sculptures are absolutely lovely too, hopefully the weather holds up and many people can visit.
Well, thank you Tae Ho for this great weekend idea in the city and we will see you again on Monday.

Alright, have a nice weekend.
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