The 18th Icheon Rice Cultural Festival

This time, while exploring South Korean, I attended to the 18th Icheon Rice Cultural Festival who was held from 19 to 23 October 2016, in Seolbong Park, Icheon.

Regarding the festival, ‘’This annual festival is held to promote Icheon rice, one of the main local specialities, during the harvest season, along with various events such as making straw mats, weaving ropes and making straw shoes.’’

There are a wide array of competitions as well as a harvest ceremony, experiencing straw crafts, carrying a traditional A-frame carrier, experiencing traditional rice threshing, and many more. High-quality rice made using home rice polishing machines is sold on the spot so that you can taste freshly cooked rice from a traditional iron pot.

Also, you can read in the pamphlet they give that ‘’This festival will offer a chance for the younger generation to learn traditional farming culture and a chance at nostalgia for the older generation.’’

You can find in this festival lots of different themed thematic zones that you can enjoy as well. Here are for you these zones, what you can enjoy and expect from each of them !

 

Neighborhood Zone: Opening Ceremony, Harvest Festival. What can we expect there ?

Well, it is the first place where the festival open, so nothing that much if you compare to the other zones !

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Play Zone: A pleasant space filled with activities related to farming culture. What can we expect there ? Tightrope walking experience, straw handicrafts, playing in an alley, praying for a good harvest, making straw flutes, various performances, etc.

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Prayer Zone: A fun venue to celebrate a good harvest and to pray for good health and longevity. What can we expect there ? Prayer ceremony for a successful Rice Cultural Festival, making rice masks, writing wish paper, magic rice bell experience, wish zone.

New Rice Marketplaces: A place to promote Icheon Rice and to sell newly produced rice and other agricultural products. What can we expect there ? buy products made by rice and other agricultural products !

Culture Zone: A place with open folk performances to provide a better understanding of farming culture. What can we expect there ? Straw craft competition, folk games, agricultural experience, donkey rides, weaving straw bags, farming culture experience.

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The Tavern: A place to enjoy food and drink while relaxing. What can we expect there ? You don’t really know ? Is Alcohol or Soju is familiar for you ? Not? Well, you are not in South Korea !

Rice Café: A place to enjoy food made from rice as well as things to see. What can we expect there ? 2000 portions of rice cooked in an iron pot, int’l rice dishes competition, making half-moon-shaped rice cake for foreigners, Icheon rice cooking competition, rice wine sampling, etc.

New Rice Street: A street filled with attractions including carriages and interesting photos, dragon tug-of-water. What can we expect there ? Street parade, dragon tug-of-water, making five-colored long and slender rice cake, carts for children, etc.

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Fairy Tale Zone: A venue for children to enjoy various festival activities to create special memories. What can we expect there ? Preschool play, traditional play experience, rice threshing experience, family puppet shows, rural experience, rice planting experience, etc.

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Good Harvest Zone: A cultural venue to show and experience traditional culture such as turtle play. What can we expect there ? Turtle play, traditional wedding ceremony, making long and slender rice cake, collective play, Nanta performance ( percussion instruments ), pungmul performance ( traditional Korean music performed by farmers ), traditional performances, etc.

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Agricultural Zone: Performance by cultural and arts institutions in Icheon. What can we expect there ? Traditional music, student competition, hip-hop dance, saxophone performance, traditional Korean outdoor performances, folk dance, cheerful Korean melodies, bonfire concerts, public singing-contest.

 

Article by Malek from Canada

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