Dano is celebrated on May 5 by the lunar calendar. It means "the day when a high god comes." On Dano, people worship heaven and celebrate all night long. Dano is the day when the positive yang energy is the most vibrant during the year. People gather to pray for peace and rich harvest, and enjoy various customs, one of which is the Gangneung Dano Festival, which was designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 13 in 1967.
In the Joseon Dynasty, Dano was the day when women were allowed to leave their homes and when slaves and servants escaped from the harsh reality to enjoy freedom. Dano was the only day of liberty that brought people of various social strata together. But if servants and slaves fell in love with daughters of aristocrats, was Dano a day of liberty or a day of suffering? We take a look at the meaning of Dano through the Gangneung Gwanno mask play and the paintings of Joseon painter, Shin Yun-bok.