The Dark Side of Seoul Podcast

Rains, Heat, and Poison: The Folklore of the Fifth Lunar Month

July 06, 2023 ZenKimchi Episode 171
Rains, Heat, and Poison: The Folklore of the Fifth Lunar Month
The Dark Side of Seoul Podcast
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The Dark Side of Seoul Podcast
Rains, Heat, and Poison: The Folklore of the Fifth Lunar Month
Jul 06, 2023 Episode 171
ZenKimchi

The fifth lunar month is one of the busiest for folklore, traditionally chock full of festivals, hair washing, and rainfall. And, of course, a few ways to ward off ghosts.   



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Join our Patreon to get more stuff

https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul

Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at https://darksideofseoul.com

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Credits

Produced by Joe McPherson and Shawn Morrissey

Music by Soraksan


Top tier Patrons

Angel Earl
Joel Bonomini
Shaaron Cullen
Devon Hiphner
Minseok Lee
Gabi Palomino
Steve Marsh
Mitchy Brewer
Ron Chang
Mackenzie Moore
Hunter Winter
Cecilia Löfgren Dumas
Emily Umbaugh
Josephine Rydberg
David Weatherly
Janice Song
Devin Buchanan

Facebook Page |
Instagram

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The fifth lunar month is one of the busiest for folklore, traditionally chock full of festivals, hair washing, and rainfall. And, of course, a few ways to ward off ghosts.   



Support the Show.

Join our Patreon to get more stuff

https://patreon.com/darksideofseoul

Book a tour of The Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk at https://darksideofseoul.com

Pitch your idea here. https://www.darksideofseoul.com/expats-of-the-wild-east/

Credits

Produced by Joe McPherson and Shawn Morrissey

Music by Soraksan


Top tier Patrons

Angel Earl
Joel Bonomini
Shaaron Cullen
Devon Hiphner
Minseok Lee
Gabi Palomino
Steve Marsh
Mitchy Brewer
Ron Chang
Mackenzie Moore
Hunter Winter
Cecilia Löfgren Dumas
Emily Umbaugh
Josephine Rydberg
David Weatherly
Janice Song
Devin Buchanan

Facebook Page |
Instagram

Speaker 1:

And welcome to the Dark Side of Soul podcast. This is Joe. This is Sean Cast.

Speaker 1:

I was trying to pronounce it, so I don't, i don't. I'm trying to control my my peas when I talk into the mic, trying to try not to get my much explosive piece I said. I said it's a podcast. It's a podcast Because you know podcast. Yeah, if we had a video, sean, we should do it. Start listen. Just call it a podcast. A podcast, yeah, It doesn't sound appealing. Yeah, we're both sober. By the way, it's the afternoon And and today we're going to continue our series on the folk months, the monthly folk traditions.

Speaker 1:

I was close. Ok, yeah, i'm paying attention.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you almost got it.

Speaker 1:

I almost got it. I'll do OK on the exam, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Let's see. Yeah, it's only one question. The question is why? Yeah, but we're going to continue this.

Speaker 1:

And the subtitle for this is Rain's Heat and Poison. That sounds like, sounds like. sounds like a witch's brew, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Not too much that stuff in this month, though, but the fifth. So it's the fifth lunar month And we're by the time we're recording now, it's early in the fifth lunar month And it's pretty. It's it's kind of chock full. It's one of the one of the busiest months in Korean tradition for folklore Well, the biggest one. The biggest traditional festivals takes place in this month, a lot of other things, of course. The weather starts to really change in this month. This is when the monsoon start, so, traditionally, koreans looked at the fifth month as being a pretty important time of year, so this was one of those big, big monthly events for them. So I'll chat a little bit about these, these things today.

Speaker 1:

And keep listening, because Sean's going to write a story of something really scary happening on one of his tours.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, i did. Yeah, i think I will, And yeah, we'll get to that in a few minutes. So, on the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the fifth month, as we'd say in Korean, was on June 18. It has 30 days and it closes on July 17. So that's just a quick, quick breakdown. Now, one of the most important things in the past that happened on the fifth month was called Dan Oh, dan Oh. So it's kind of like if you have a buddy named Dan, you can say hey, dan Oh. So it's not Dan Oh, it's Dan Oh Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And Dan Oh was his name Oh.

Speaker 3:

That's right, oh, and so this was one of the biggest events in the traditional calendar, so much so that people still acknowledge it. They still follow a lot of the traditions linked to it, and we'll get to that. But Dan Oh fell on the fifth day, the fifth day of the fifth month. So this is all important. We talked about this before. So the uneven numbered months all have generally not always, but generally have important days. So the one one, the first day of the first month, that's New Year's Day, of course. Then you have the third day of the third month fifth of the fifth month was just Dan Oh, and then the seventh, the seventh, ninth and ninth, things like that. So there's always something major on these days, these double uneven numbered days. So Dan Oh was the fifth day of the fifth month. It was also called the Chungjul in some of the traditions, but also Suratna. These are other names for it in the past, but today people just generally say Dan Oh. These older names are not acknowledged anymore by most people. Extremely important.

Speaker 3:

Even though it's still acknowledged, it's not really widely celebrated in any way. People will talk about it. It does fall on the calendars. The calendars will mention it, but nothing much is really done. The day just passes. People just go to work, kids go to school, it's just nothing really happens, except in different places, and we'll get to that a little bit later. So some of the things that people did do in the past is that they would dress up for Dan Oh. They put on their Dan Oh best And this was called the Dan Oh Bim.

Speaker 3:

More like a festive clothing, people would give gifts, especially fans. Now, it was kind of a vast tradition. There were various types and various types of fans, i should say, and there's something that kind of symbolized the Korean people in the past So much, so much so that the Chinese called the people of Goryeo, the Goryeo dynasty, fan-bearers, even in winter, because the Koreans loved fans so much that the Chinese were like oh, they even have fans in the wintertime, they love their fans so much So Dan Oh was a time of year when people would actually gift fans to one another And, like I said, so many different types.

Speaker 3:

An interesting thing that was done on Dan Oh was washing. It was the one time a year no, not the one time a year, joking, but it was a special time of year to get washed. People would wash their faces, and usually in water that was infused with iris flowers, and so people would wash their faces. Women especially would wash their hair at this time. This is still done today, you can hear. But a lot of people will have different festivals and whatnot on the Dan Oh And they'll wash their hair in iris infused water.

Speaker 1:

Is that some subject of some old paintings as well? Yeah, I think of that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so art was actually a big thing. I didn't put this in the notes, but art is a big thing on Dan Oh. There are traditional paintings and also poetry was a big thing on Dan Oh. So iris flowers would have been acknowledged in Dan Oh paintings And then the action of washing in the water infused with iris flowers was common. Have you seen paintings like that?

Speaker 1:

You know what? There is one at the place, the second place we go to on our barbecue tour. They have a lot of you know posting. you know the wallpaper is kind of these paintings And it just cares of me. Yeah, it's topless women washing their hair.

Speaker 3:

Oh, yeah, maybe it is. Yeah, maybe have a closer look. I might say, oh, i do have closer looks, but like at the bottom, not at the boobies.

Speaker 1:

Oh OK, we'll see. Yeah, it's like next to some of the booths, the paint. what makes the booths or the booths?

Speaker 3:

OK, booths. OK.

Speaker 3:

Culture man, it's culture. So, yeah, yeah, so it could be. Maybe it is. Yeah, if it's. if there's flowers involved, it could be. could be the dino, the tradition of washing up on dino. Now, along with the idea of getting gifts, it was also a time of year. people will get stuff that was new, and this was important for people because, for commoners especially, getting new things was very rare. It wasn't, it was just a few times a year. You can get anything that was new, afford it or have the resources to make it in or whatever it would be. So, yeah, it was. it was something that was quite important to get something new, like a new piece of clothing or something, or a new fan or whatever on. or new car, new car Be good, today, get a new car. She didn't cheat him. traditional wrestling wrestling was really popular.

Speaker 3:

I asked my wife is a dick because her, her grandfather in in their small village in Jundju, their farming community They she was huge in that in that community And I asked her if her grandfather did, did she them wrestling on dino? And she's like he did it every day.

Speaker 1:

Wow, so he that they loved it The legendary every time you mention him. Yeah, legendary.

Speaker 3:

Like, yeah, so she's like he did it all the time. She's like very like these. Yes, yes, very likely she did it on dino or he, the grandfather, did it on dino, but it wouldn't have been like considered really special for them and he and his buddies, because they always did it. So now one of the big things about dino today Yeah, there are still festivals. There are different places where festivals are done. Probably the most important and the most widely recognized takes place in Gangneung, on the east coast. So in Gangneung there's the Gangneung Danoje and so the Dano Festival, and it's such a wide festival that it's recognized by the Korean government. Of course, it's listed as an important intangible cultural treasure. It's number 13 on the list and it's recognized by UNESCO. It's one of the masterpieces of the world and intangible cultural heritage of humanity, which is a fairly long list of intangible cultural assets, oral and intangible cultural assets Globally. Korea has 22 entries on that list.

Speaker 1:

Korea has a lot of putting stuff on UNESCO though.

Speaker 3:

Or UNESCO likes putting Korean stuff on their list.

Speaker 1:

Because everything's a campaign. You know, korea does all these campaigns, sure.

Speaker 3:

But the thing is people tend to not know about these lists like the oral and intangible cultural heritage list. They know more about the sites heritage site lists. They always want that because Korea doesn't have too many of those compared to a lot of like China or Italy. But this list is just as important. It's not as sexy, i guess.

Speaker 1:

It's not as talked about as much. It's government officials trying to prove their salt by cheating on these things.

Speaker 3:

The problem with a lot of these, the heritage sites getting on UNESCO, is that most of them are not really that old You'll never see. The palace Kyungbokung is not old. This is not old anymore. The buildings are not old. So it's never going to make those lists, but a lot of these traditions. So every time I hear someone say it's like, oh, that tradition died, japan destroyed our traditions. It's like, well, japan destroyed your tradition during the occupation. They certainly attempted in a lot of ways, but if they were successful, then these traditions wouldn't exist anymore. There would be 22 of them officially recognized by UNESCO. So stop saying that Japan destroyed your traditions and recognize that your traditions survived and start following them again.

Speaker 1:

If you're that concerned about them, it's a little bit frustrating when you're stuff like that, let's continue to blame the evil outsider. But you're just so.

Speaker 3:

But the Gangnam Dano J is a massive Dano festival And in Korea it's easily one of the largest cultural events that takes place every year in Korea. Some of the most important things is that there are like shamanic events that are linked to it. Shinju is the alcohol that's popular during the time, shin meaning God, of course. Jew meaning booze, so the God's booze that's offered to two literary spirits And, interestingly, the event begins on the fifth day of the fourth lunar month, so all only one month before, and it concludes on the seventh day of the fifth month, so it's more than a month long than the entire festival itself. All the festivities, preparations, everything It's just it goes through a little bit longer than 30 days. Come a few of the key things that happen There's the Yangshun J, which is a welcoming right to you, welcoming the spirits. That occurs on the third day of the fifth month, and then there's actually the Dano Goode, which is the shamanic right that concludes the festival. That's the pretty much at the very end.

Speaker 3:

It's such a huge events, so many things happens. There's so much folklore that I don't know. Maybe in the future I'll do an episode just on that, maybe I'll save it for the fifth month next year. There's just so much involved So just don't have time to talk about all of it now, but it's a huge event. So if anyone happens to be in Korea between if you're not sure what the lunar months, when they fall you can check Google or get in touch with us, find the calendars. We can help you out with that. It's now done for this year, it's finished.

Speaker 3:

But if you happen to be in Korea in the future and you think you'll be in Korea around June, which is usually when the fifth lunar month starts, you can go to Gangneung on the East Coast And you can attend one of the largest cultural events in Korea following traditions of Dano which date back centuries. So something that you can do. Fun tourism stuff too, that just never gets any promotion very little promotion at all, unfortunately. So there are a couple other things that kind of happened at this time in the past. Especially there was the idea and I talked about this before the idea of making tiger figurines out of mugwort or soup, or soup. They're called the, the, the A-Ho and or the soup. What? Yeah, you said the same thing last time because it's it's in the warding off evil episode, right, i think it's that episode where I first talked about it.

Speaker 1:

Okay Okay, old brain is coming back to me. Okay, okay Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So and the, these, these mugwort tigers, let's just say, let's just call them the soup or any, all right, let's just do that. So we're not, oh, you don't, we don't giggle or giggle our way through the rest of the episode. So the, it's a tiny figure made of mugwort, shaped like a tiger. They often would have been put around certain places, sometimes given to palace scholars, and women would wear them in their hair And they were designed, of course, to purify, because mugwort was considered a purifier in folk tradition.

Speaker 3:

It's also mugwort. It's also delicious, Yeah, so yeah, and it was used to ward off evil. So I talked about this in the warning off evil episode now, one of our earliest episodes, i think, yeah, within the first 20 or 30 episodes, i believe. Another thing is the, the Dano Bujok. So this is the amulets, of course, that we talked about, and several did we do. Yeah, we did. We did a whole episode on Bujok Bujok. Yeah, it's called Lucky Charms, yes, yeah, so go back and have a listen.

Speaker 3:

I'm pretty sure maybe in that episode I talked about the Dano Bujok as well. So the key thing about making the amulets for Dano is that it was believed that the Yang Yin Yang, so Yang energy, was strong, so it was a good day to make them. They're often made by monks and people would go to the temples to get them. They'd hang them over gates or like on their kitchen walls and things like that, and they were considered to be good, good deterrents of Japqui, which are the collect miscellaneous ghosts and that can bring misfortune and sickness. So it hang these, these Dano Bujok, around their homes to ward off these ghosts. So quite, quite interesting And yeah, so go back and listen to the Lucky Charms episode, where we talk about Bujok.

Speaker 1:

We'll return to the podcast after this message.

Speaker 2:

In our first comic we explored ghastly Korean folk tales while walking the streets of Seoul. This time we are ambling the Korean Highlands with terror tales set in those storied landscapes. Welcome to the dark side of Seoul. Weird tales from Korean lore mountains of the Macabre.

Speaker 3:

Another cool thing that I like endu chanshin. So first, chanshin was the offering of things to ancestral spirits, especially into household gods. That was called the chanshin, and it would happen at different times of year And there were different types of chanshin. One that happened around Dano or the beginning part of the month anyway, beginning part of the at some point throughout the fifth month, but normally near the beginning, was the endu chanshin. Now, endu are mountain cherry, so they call them. They grow in trees and they're quite tiny. They're not perfectly round like the more well-known cherries that have a little bit of poisonous. No, they're. They're lightly sweet, they're delicious, they're fantastic. They have a fairly large pit, but but they're. You see, you just pop them in your mouth and you eat around the pit and then spit you know, spit the pits out. So endu fantastic.

Speaker 1:

Oh, i'm looking at all, i've had them. Oh, they look like. they look like cranberries, but they grow on trees.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, i didn't know they're called endu Yeah, endu Yeah, and we have so many of them around my place So we were picking them. But when we were about two weeks ago we went around. About a week and a half ago we're going around. We were picking some off the trees. We brought them home Just feast wash them and feasted on them, watching TV, oh so living in the country is really cool.

Speaker 1:

Hasn't said Vanj's that in it? Yeah?

Speaker 3:

it sure does So. So and they're, and they're great. So what they would do in the endu chanshin is that you'd offer these to the ancestral spirits and your household gods. And it was believed to. You know, bring, bring well being to your home, and things like that. So so this is another example of how, in the past, the offering of things to ancestral spirits was done far more often than it is today. It was just a couple of days a year, which is even now that's only kind of moving more to once a year. Now we're used to seems to stop, seems to be the more just almost like the last, the only time left for a lot of people. I find a lot more people are starting to travel during Salah, so they're going to leave it, they're leaving the winter here and they're going to, they're going to Southeast Asia and stuff, and so they're not following the traditions anymore.

Speaker 1:

But whenever you, whenever you mentioned this I mean, i know it's Chinese, but it keeps reminding me of the Disney cartoon Mulan how they had their special family shrine where they had their ancestors and also the, the local gods. you know, i think the dragon, the Eddie Murphy's dragon, was supposed to be kind of like a god, a family god, and Guardian Mushu, mushu That was his name, mushu Yeah. Anyway, that's how, from up from my brain, this is. this is my little comparison. This is how I'm able to envision it. Right, right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so, yeah, so. So, the endu tension, yeah, The giving offerings of these mountain cherries to, to your, to your, to your, your passed away, grandpa, i gave my love a mountain cherry. Sorry.

Speaker 3:

Yummy. Another couple of things linked to to link to Dano, was the, something called the, the sonang jai, and sonang is the, the village, to the Larry guardian, guardian spirit, and so this was a right. The sonang jai jai means a ritual or right. This would often, more often, especially in some regions, be done, done on John. Well, they put them John, will, they put on my favorite time of year, but there are regional differences. In some places would do these rituals on Dano or around Dano And, yeah, they'd give prayers and offerings to the, to the sonang, the, to Larry spirit of a village, for the village's welfare. It's good fortune, safety, good harvests, a good catch if it's a fishing village. And then they'd also do so, saying they, they try to predict the future and but especially predict the fortunes of the villages themselves. So this was often done And I'm sure there's still some smaller villages around the country that still do stuff like this. And so another interesting thing, just to finish up on Dano rock fights, rock fights, stone fights.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh, not like battle of the bands, no no, they would.

Speaker 3:

men because men are dumb would get together in large groups and teams. they make teams, they have banners, they beat drums, they start yelling and screaming And then they start whipping rocks at one another, throw them up in the air and, like the rocks would, would land. the way it's described in one record is that the stones would fall like rain, and some records even say that people died during these, these stone fights, these games.

Speaker 1:

We did this, we did that as kids, we would do that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, so the government allowed it during the chosen dynasty as well. It's, it's, it's in records that things like that were often controlled by the government, it seems. But certain things were allowed, even like these dangerous things where people are actually getting stones in the head and then dying. So so, yeah, so these are some of the traditions that are directly linked to Dano. What a, what a festivity that I wish would be more widely celebrated more. But, alas, something else that was quite common throughout the fifth month was the idea of the odok. Now, odok means the five poisons, and so Dano was essentially. The belief was it was the onset of summer, and then this meant, of course, it was the onset of potentially dangerous animals. So the five poisons were snakes, spiders, scorpions, centipedes which appear heavily as monsters in in Korean folktales and frogs. So one of the ways that they would try to avoid these five poisons coming into the home is that people had hang herbs over their gates, herbs that had some sort of like a sense of some sort that would. That was believed to keep the the five poisons away, and related to that, the idea of, also around this time, hanging a tiger bone over a gate was also believed to ward off evil generally, not necessarily the odok, but evil in general. Now, it's interesting that odok is linked to the beginning of the fifth lunar month And one of the odok is snakes, because, as Joe mentioned at the beginning of the episode, yeah, i've had an interesting experience on one of our, one of our, the very last Walk Among the Graves tour for this season. So on the traditional calendar, this fell on the. This tour fell on the sixth day of the fifth lunar month, which was, of course, the the day after Dano. Oh no, you know what? No, i'm sorry, it was the seventh day of the of the fifth lunar month, not the sixth day. So two days after Dano, which still the beginning of around that time when it was believed that these five poisons would start to appear. So now the Walk Among the Graves tour of course goes up into a cemetery And I think I've mentioned before, cemeteries are up on hillsides in Korea And they're usually they're usually, you know, not grown over, they're, they're cleared away of too many trees and bushes and things like that.

Speaker 3:

But there are sections where trails do tend to overgrow, especially in summer. So I initially did not plan on running the the tour through June, but the demand was so high that I decided to say, okay, shag it, i'll do it anyway. So I ran it through June And the very last booked tour for the season was on June 24, which was the seventh day of the fifth lunar month. Five people on on the tour, yeah, and and so the and I'll say hi to him. I think I remember all it's. It was Natalia and Jessica and Jessica or Jennifer, i think.

Speaker 3:

Jessica and Lisa, abby and son, so and me leading the group, and as we're coming away from one clear area of graves, you have to turn down in through the bushes a little bit. And it's, it's not too bad, it's still. It's still quite, quite wide. I guess it's not fully grown over yet, but it started to grow over And I stepped through first. I said, okay, we're gonna walk through here, be careful, it's starting to grow over a little bit.

Speaker 3:

I stepped forward with my left foot And I felt something weird under my foot And I glanced down and I saw a massive snake flicking around everywhere And I didn't jump back, because that's often a bad thing to do.

Speaker 3:

So I I glanced down and I saw that it was. it's tail was flicking And I was stepping on its head So it was under my foot, safely under under my foot, and then I moved my arm back. The sun was on the tour And son peaked over my shoulder, my right shoulder, and he could see the snake And I think he saw it after I lifted it, because I moved back a bit and I lifted my foot and I slowly and I let it, i moved like I moved back, lifted my foot, not slowly, rather quickly moved it back and then the snake spun around and took off And I got a fairly good look at its patterns, even though it was moving pretty quickly. It was very big, it was longer than my arm and about as fat around as my wrist. So pretty, pretty, big, pretty fat snake and through the patterns it looked like it may have been a Mushi, which is a very venomous pit viper, one of the most venomous snakes in Korea. You may hear a myth that there are no venomous snakes in Korea.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's there, there are, there are, there are. There's at least four different types that I know of. Might even be even more, but the Mamushi is one of the the most venomous and people die from Mamushi bites every year in Korea A small number, a few, a few people every year. What happens when a Mamushi bites you is that your, i think your, your, your tendons or your cartilage or something, or your, maybe your bones, that something begins to liquefy and yeah, and then you, you, eventually, if you know you, either you, if it, if it's near it, goes to your brain, your heart or whatever. You guess that that's what kills you. But the poison goes through your body pretty rough. So we saw that right on the right just after Dano.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, the this large snake on the tour that I stepped on. Now, i've seen lots of snakes on the hiking tours. I've seen lots of snakes just privately in Korea on my own, and, yeah, that's the closest I've ever been to one stepping. I've been very close to them, just next to me, but this is the largest one I've ever seen. The largest one I've ever seen. If it was a Mamushi, it was the first one I've saw a Mamushi and, yeah, the first first time I've ever actually stepped on one, and someone pointed out it was a good thing that I stepped on its head and not its tail, because it may have spun back.

Speaker 3:

I'm not sure if it would have been able to get through. I wear fairly thick hiking almost like a cargo cargo pants. Don't know if it would have been able to puncture that maybe. But yeah, it would have been an interesting descent down to get me to a hospital. And so there you go. So I've decided that I'm not gonna run the tour next summer or next season. I'm not gonna run the tour that late, i'm just gonna keep it, finish it at the end of May.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, that was the adventure we had last week, but we continued, no one was hurt and and just make it. I'll make a quick note. I knew what to do when I saw it. And safety whenever the tours designed their safety precautions in place, guides should always have this in mind and I knew what to do and I avoided getting hurt and I and no one else got hurt. Everything was completely safe after that.

Speaker 3:

So the snakes slithered out, the snake was also fine, and so win, win, win, win for everyone. So don't be worried about snakes and stuff. You come on a tour, guides are prepared, okay, and now another key thing, speaking of things getting getting poisonous yeah, the poisonous summer heat starts around the fifth lunar month, because it's also the summer solstice, generally happens around the the beginning of the lunar month, so so in Korean it's called haji, and it began this year on the fourth day of the on sorry, on June 21st, of course, on the Gregorian calendar, which was the fourth day of the of the fifth month. Around this time, traditionally, people would have prepared for floods because the rains are coming. This is a big flooding see. Korea still suffers from floods every every summer.

Speaker 3:

Last year was awful 10 years, so 10 11 years ago was absolutely terrible, so hopefully this year won't be too bad so there's there's a time a year when people would prepare for it, so farmers would often, around this time, perform, perform something called the QJ, and the QJ was at different times of year, but it was the. It was a right for abundant but non-destructive rains, of course, because farmers need rains, but they don't need so much of it that it floods or destroys their crops. So and this would especially be done if the summer rains hadn't started yet, by by haji, by the beginning of of haji, the summer solstice, if there haven't been any really heavy rains yet, they would perform the QJ to pray for, for healthy rains. Another thing of speaking of rain, there was also something which is interesting called the Taejong Wu, and the Taejong Wu was Taejong's.

Speaker 3:

Rain in Taejong means Taejong means the king, king Taejong, and rain, not the rain of a king, but rain, the falling of rain. So there are a couple of different versions of this, including one that that discusses the King Taejong of Sheila, but the most popular version of this involves Taejong of Chosun, so the third king of the Chosun dynasty, the father of King Sejong, the famous, the famous King Sejong. And Joe, you talk about him a bit on your by the bridge, right? Yeah, we don't have to go into the story. No spoilers.

Speaker 1:

But no, no, no, but I mean I don't mention my name, right, right right, right, and it's not necessary to do that on tours.

Speaker 3:

We need to mention people's names.

Speaker 1:

But I mean you gotta deal with, you know, libel issues.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you never know, ghost, ghostly libel. So so the version that involves Taejong of Chosun is that on his deathbed, it was believed that the Taejong was worried about a drought and The dynasty was experiencing a drought. There was not enough rain and He was worried that this was harming the crops. Of course, and on his deathbed He said he was going to ask the, the different gods, especially the, the, the the auction, the Jade Emperor, the okwang, if to bring rains to the peninsula. And then Taejong died on the, the 10th day of the fifth month, and on the day he died It rained. Finally, the drought. The drought finished, the drought was done and it started to rain on the day he died, like he said he was going to do. That's the legend. And then it said that on the anniversary of Taejong's death, every year It, it rains, it rains every year. Now, coincidentally, joe, today is the 10th day of the fifth month.

Speaker 1:

It is. yes, i'm looking at my calendar now.

Speaker 3:

Yes, the day we're recording, and so it should rain today, according to tradition.

Speaker 1:

Okay, the episode will be released on the 19th day of the fifth month.

Speaker 3:

There you go, so you look back, so we're recording early afternoon, so it's not forecasted to rain today's raining. Yesterday though, yeah, we had a heavy, heavy spit down yesterday, and so Just a couple of other things before we finish up. There's something called the sosa, and the sosa is the 11th Jolgi, and the Jolgi, again mentioned several times, are the Solar terms, so different events throughout the traditional calendar That follow the Sun and not the moon, and this is why Korea does not have a purely lunar calendar. This is a misnomer. Korea has a, has a solo, a, a loony solar calendar, or solely lunar calendar. It's mixed, it's mixed together, it's not a purely lunar calendar. So, and the Jolgi, you know, is evidence of that.

Speaker 3:

So, on the 20th day of the fifth lunar month, with which will be July 20, july 7th this year, this is sosa, and it was believed that this Jolgi, the solar term, was the beginning of the real summer temperatures and Humidity. Things start to get really rotten around that time of time of year. So sosa means the small heat and the. This was the the beginning of summers, summers, rain, summers, ravages, and It pre it happens before the day saw, which is the grand heat when things get really shitty. So, and also right around this time is believed that the rainy season wasn't full swing. Things were. Things were getting Quite crazy around this time. So that's coming on July 7th on The Gregorian calendar, sosa, the 11th Jolgi solar term. And Finally, this one last thing to mention is something I've talked about before. I really like this, joe. I'm sure you like these as well. It's the, the turbo and, yeah, the first of the sample here we go.

Speaker 1:

Now We're starting some really serious stuff.

Speaker 3:

The dog days of summer. Yes, what can you say about these? like cuz, no one knows. These are linked directly to food and, yes, joe's does, joe's wheelhouse.

Speaker 1:

I mean, the ironic is the English. English translation doesn't be dog days of summer, but there are three. There are three days are supposed to be the hottest days of the summer of the year and You eat special medicinal foods for that. It has been associated with dogs dog meat soup in the past. These days is more chicken soup by some gay time, and Now I'm starting to see other Other dishes being brought in. I can't think of them off the top of my head, but you know, some people are just More vegetarian or something.

Speaker 3:

That's yeah, yeah, right well, in the past red bean was also a big, was a big thing to eat on On the, on the job. Oh, i think in any of the sample red bean was quite big. Joe book was was also Common to have red bean, and I you know, and, and that's how it, why I think There's Pat bingsu. I think it's linked to this tradition of eating.

Speaker 1:

That would make so much sense. So yeah, shaved ice or shaved shaved, some some type of shaved frozen Concoctions, shaved milk, shaved makgeolli these days you can get, and with different toppings, and the traditional one is has red beans, sweet red beans and and soybean powder. And Right chapsa dog, which is like marshmallow, eat rice cakes Stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I mean so. So I tend to think that's where a pat bingsu kind of comes from. It was the modernized, readily accessible for everyone version of red bean on the tobo food, believed to keep you cool, to cool down your body, and A key thing about it was that Koreans believe that there was a misbalance in our energies. So our A fire energy became very powerful During Chobok and it would, it could kind of diminish our metal energy and Dog meat especially was believed to have, was to be high in metal energy. So By eating dog meat on the sample, the sorry, the well, the Chobok, but but all three sambok, the Chobok It would balance out our, our metal, our metal, and it would bring our metal energies back and we'd be balanced. So these are the folk medicinal traditions linked to these. These days of yeah, the, the hot days of The hottest, traditionally the hottest days of the year in Korean, on the Korean calendar.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i've also heard that is meant to replenish a lot of the minerals you lose when you sweat. So another way, we're just kind of like Gatorade.

Speaker 3:

Right, right, yeah, so, yeah, so that's coming up. So this year There will be the, the, the 24th day of the of the 5th lunar month, which is Under.

Speaker 1:

It's what plants crave. Which will be the 11th like comment, if you get that reference of July.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So another thing is that yin, the yin and yang, which is umyang in Korean, yin would drop and yang would rise. So That's why there was a look out of a miss balance of energies and things like that. So link all that was The link to the metal energy to being diminished. Going to cool places and I mean all this place fucking cool. Going to cooler places, mm-hmm, they're not as hot Like valleys or springs. Natural springs was very popular, water still is.

Speaker 3:

Koreans love Like. If you ask a Korean, where, where are you going for summer vacation, they'll often say, kegel, we're going to a valley. Mmm, yeah, very good, so common where. Yeah, i mean, it's not something we'd say, i think in Canada anyway, we wouldn't say, we wouldn't say like I'm going to a valley for, for, for my holiday. Yeah, korean. Koreans have this deep tradition related to the Chobok, the Sambok, generally Going to valleys, and I love it. I love it when they say oh, we're going to a valley, we're going to a Valley to sell, to get away from the heat and the heather, you know, to celebrate summer and stuff like that. My wife and daughter are going to a valley this afternoon. We should get some from school. Well, that sounds great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i used to live next to one and it's actually part of our get out of soul tour Where it's an array. In Anyang There's a valley where they house Anyang Art Park and it's a resort area and it's so cool because I remember going there in the summer and their families picnicking on this stream that runs through there and It's so unique. I love this place because it's so. It encapsulates quirky Korea, because it's this random artwork, sculptures in the forest, and There's a, there's a Buddhist temple and they're just all these Cafes and restaurants and hiking shops that that cater. You know, you know that the Korean restaurant, the resort restaurants I have of, i love Korean resort restaurants. I'm not talking about stuff that cages to foreigners. It's almost stuff that cares to Koreans, because you tend to get more unique stuff, like there was one guy that was like he was turning a half of a hog on a spit and rubbing it with soju as it was going around. You know, nice, nice Stuff like that, oh, fun stuff.

Speaker 3:

So deeply cultural is such a great experience. I just love.

Speaker 1:

To me, this kind of romantic, it's just. It's like how Koreans really would have a vacation before the days people were traveling outside the country.

Speaker 3:

Definitely. Yeah, even, yeah, which wasn't all that long ago, it's only really been where people travel abundantly outside of the country. Yeah, To the tune of like 30 million outbound travelers a year. We have even higher than that coming up this year. Yeah, like the people, they go to the K-Goat, the valleys, they do stuff like that. It was great.

Speaker 3:

Traveling around Korea was just fascinating, like my early years in Korea, traveling around and seeing stuff like that. You're witnessing folk traditions happening and traditions generally. I just love it, i love it. I love it. So things like this are great. So, yeah, and going to springs as well natural springs and stuff traditionally were important because in the past, koreans believed that spring water could cure any skin diseases or bad skin and stuff like that. So doing this on the Cho-Bok was something that was quite common. Going to a natural spring or something and washing your face in it to clear your skin Ah, folk belief. Ah. And again, offerings to ancestral spirits was done on Cho-Bok. They'd give wheat and rice, offer wheat and rice to ancestral spirits during Cho-Bok. So another example of how this was such an important thing to Korean tradition in the past the idea of the ancestor, the ancestral spirits extremely, extremely important.

Speaker 1:

And just a final one. Okay, yeah, final one.

Speaker 3:

It is a final thing. There was something called the bok-je. So bok here relates to bok-cho-bok. So bok doesn't mean fortune Here. Bok means the heat, what we're talking about. So, for example, the Chinese character, the han-cha, for bok means the character, is kind of like a. It's kind of like a dude that's lying down, he's all. He's just like conked out from the heat. So bok-je, where these were rituals or rites performed on farms, you'd give rice offerings to gods for the growth of healthy crops. So this was usually done in the past on Cho-Bok.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i mean that makes sense. I mean it's like give us my rice, and there's more of where this comes from, gods.

Speaker 3:

Yeah right.

Speaker 1:

Right, you know, so there we go All right happy fifth month. All right, happy fifth month. We'll return to the podcast after this message.

Speaker 4:

Take a walk through Sol's 500 years of ghastly murders, forbidden history and hidden scandals. Listen to tales of Korea's deepest, darkest secrets. What lies under the concrete or who. The dark side of Soul Coast. Walk at darksideofsoulcom, but now, if you dare.

Speaker 1:

Do we have any listener mail? We do yeah.

Speaker 3:

So recently our friend Sharon Kong Pering returned to Korea and people listeners regular listeners will remember Sharon joined us now last year to talk about the dark side of K-pop fandom. So Sharon's a PhD candidate, she's involved in cultural studies, she's also and her focus is on K-pop really and it's a little bit broader than that, i think, but that's a big part of it. So she did a lot of studies in K-pop fandom and whatnot and talked about the dark side of it. That's what she's kind of interested in that type of thing. Create episode that was one of our top five downloaded episodes last year. So if you haven't listened to that, go back and have a listen. And she's doing something really interesting again. The reason she's back in Korea this year. She just gave a presentation in Daegu. I know what it is, but I think we talked about it. We might have her on again to talk about her current presentation in Daegu. Quite interesting.

Speaker 3:

But this time at this conference in Daegu, sharon was joined by her friend, jess Van Damme, and Jess did the dark side of Soul Tour with Sharon. So Sharon's now done it twice. But Jess also came on the Walk Among the Graves tour on Dano, oh Yeah. So Jess left us a review for the dark side of Soul Tour on TripAdvisor and Jess said wonderful, spooky tour of Soul. Definitely recommend this tour As it takes you to parts of Soul you may not necessarily see or provide stories You may not necessarily know. Does not disappoint. So thank you, jess And thank you Sharon, good to see you again And, yeah, hope to see you both again in Korea sometime in the future.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, sharon, yeah, anyway, yeah, Yeah. And Sean does not disappoint. I know from personal experience Sometimes Yeah. Well, it's also a point out that we have our comic. You can find in Soul at Dice and Comics Cafe near Janghan Pyeong Station. I actually had a couple. They're visiting Korea and their thing is they go to comic shops when they go overseas, to go travel, and they found out about our tour from the comic book shop.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, yeah, That's thanks to Joey. Joey always promotes it. Thanks, thanks, joey. Thanks, dude.

Speaker 1:

That was good, the checks in the mail, but you can also buy it online at darkseisocom. We have a link to our store. You can get a physical copy Now I need to point this out. That does take a while. We keep our shipping costs down by going for the slowest method, like if you're ordering from, like the method you do if you order from AliExpress or something this is so it's not going to be Amazon type of speed. It's going to take like maybe like in the old days Remember in the old days when they had those what was it called? home shopping shows and stuff like that, and they always say wait four to six weeks for delivery. That's kind of what we're doing. It's going to take four to six weeks to deliver. So plan ahead of time And then the fun is the wait. But you will get your place, but you will get your books if you order. I mean, if you want it done, given to you faster, contact us, we could do faster shipping. It's just really pricey.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, korea hasn't really balanced out their post pandemic prices yet, which is nuts, because Korea was famously very cheap.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but now it's like between like maybe a couple of dollars to ship to it's $50 to ship Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so it's. Yeah, if you're willing to spend that much, we'll ship it, but we're keeping prices low, so as low as we possibly can Remember. We want to produce more of these books, so we want to get them out there. But yeah, we want to get them out. We want to make it affordable for everyone, right, right.

Speaker 1:

So the Dark Side Soul podcast is produced by Joe McPherson and Sean Morrissey. Our opening and closing music is by Sodexan, which you can find on Bandcamp under Jeju Digital. We'd like to thank our top tier patrons Angel Earl, joel Bonamini, sharon Cullen, devin Hiffner, minseok Lee, ryan Birkebal, gabi Palomino, steve Marsh, chad Strauss, michi Brewer, sarah Ford, jane Kang, ron Chang McKinsey, moore Hunter Winter, cecilia Lufkenduma, lufkrin Lufkrin sorry, cecilia Lufkenduma. And Emily Umbau. Emily, tell me if I'm pronouncing your name right. I'm doing it the German way, okay, anyway, thank you so much for supporting us.

Speaker 1:

If you want to support the show and get a lot of extra content, you can go to patreoncom slash darksideofsoul and start at just $5 a month. You get a lot of extra stuff. Test it out, see if you like it. If you don't, it's okay, you can cancel it anytime. That's right. Forty-six weeks for delivery called 1-800. All right, anyway. 1-800, darksideofsoul, darksideofsoul Call. Now Operators are standing by. That was fun. Telemercial, was that what it called? Infomercial, infomercial, gosh, you live away from a country for so long it's like I totally forgot. I've not seen an infomercial in maybe 25 years, so it's like forgot the word. Well, if you enjoy infomercials, i hope you enjoy And I hope you enjoy the fifth month of the lunar year.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

All right Let's wrap this up, all right. Until next time, stay smoking. Hey, good night.

Korean Folk Traditions and Dan Oh
Dano Traditions and Beliefs
Summer Dangers and Preparations
Korean Summer Traditions and Beliefs
Dark Soul Tour and Listener Mail