Andong Mask Dance Festival

Festival season in Korea is in full swing, and this weekend I went back to my old hometown, Andong, for their annual Mask Dance Festival.

The Mask Dance Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Korea. Mainly because there is so much culture and heritage centered around the Andong area.  One of the most famous landmarks being Hahoe village, a tradition village from the Joseon Dynasty period (16th century), which still maintains more traditional ways of life. It also happens to be a UNESCO listed heritage site AND was visited by the one and only Queen Elizabeth – something Andong-ers are very proud of!

There is always so much to do at festivals, and the Andong festival is no different. You can make masks, pop balloons, shoot paint ball guns, dance, eat, drink and, of course, watch the professionals do their thing!

This year I was very happy that I got to see my friend Dana’s 80 year old grandfather do a dance, which he has been rehearsing since I was in Andong in August!





I also got to see the famous Hahoe dance, listed as ‘Intangible Cultural Property Nr. 49’. Or was it 69?








There are also some international dance performances each year. This year dancers from 6 different countries came to show off their skills.

I also got to do non- festival things such as decorate a cake for my friend Dana’s granny’s birthday. Dana and I were also little piggies and managed to eat pretty much a whole plate of Jjimdak. It is so huge, but so delicious. Spicy and sweet.  Glass noodles, potatoes, carrots and chicken all boiled together to soak up the flavours. I would say that the only down side to this dish is that it is so incredibly good that you just can’t stop eating it. Also they put the chicken neck in there too, so be careful. The table next to us were perplexed why they had two necks in their dish, watch out!

That's a big plate of jjimdak!

If you ever get to eat this Andong delicacy please beware that the sauce is known to fly off the noodles as you slurp them up with the aid of 2 metal sticks. It has ruined many a white t-shirt.

Everytime I go back to Andong I find myself saying as I’m leaving, ‘Ok, I’ll have to come back one more time before I leave Korea.’ So hear is going back to Andong again before February!

As with that I’ll leave you with a few more pictures from the weekend. Enjoy.

Kate x

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