On the day of the first full moon of the Lunar New Year, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month of the year, the Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival is held in order to pray for good health and good fortune in the coming year.
This year the festival falls on Tuesday, February 19th, and a variety of events, such as ritual ceremonies, Daljip burning (the burning of a large straw heap bonfire under the light of the moon), Jisin-balgi (stomping on the ground to comfort the god of the earth) and the performing of folk plays are being planned at a number of locations around Busan.
They are public events with free admission. The main event of the festival, the Daljip burning will take place around moonrise after the opening ritual ceremony. There will be various participation programs for visitors, including New Year’s wish writing, traditional Korean folk games and more.
Customs and Traditions of Jeongwol Daeboreum
According to the Korean Tourism Organization, here is a list of customs and traditions on the day.
• Drinking gwibalgisul: A tradition of drinking cheongju, a cold clear, strained rice wine to wish for good news all year round.
• Cracking bureom: Bureom are nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, and gingko nuts. A common tradition of Jeongwol Daeboreum is to crack a nut in your mouth early in the morning. This is believed to help strengthen teeth and avoid allergies in the coming year.
• Sharing ogokbap rice: Ogokbap is boiled rice made with five grains. The rice is eaten with various wild vegetables and is shared on the eve of Jeongwol Daeboreum as it is believed to bring good luck.
• Burning daljip: Daljip is a heap of straw or twigs. Burning daljip is a tradition intended to ward off misfortune and bring good luck.
• Jwibullori: Jwibullori is a tradition of burning grass and weeds on dry fields and paddies after sunset in order to kill insect eggs and to fertilize the fields with ashes. The flames lighting up the night sky also make for a spectacular sight to behold.
Here is a list of Jeongwol Daeboreum Festival venues in Busan:
37th Haeundae Dalmaji Oncheon Festival
February 19, 2019 at Haeundae Beach, 10:00am – 8:00pm
(Moonrise: 5:41 p.m.)
There will be an enormous daljip taeugi (in which participants burn objects in the shape of the moon) – which will be the highlight of the festival.
Events: Gilnori (Street Parade), Jisin-balgi, Gangkang Suwollae (Korean circle dance), Traditional Korean folk games – Tuho (arrow toss), Yutnori (traditional board game), Jegi-chagi (Korean hacky-sack), reenactment of boats returning from Oryuk, Daedong Nori (communal event between performers and an audience)
Directions: Haeundae Station (Metro line 2), exit 3 or 5 → Walk about 5 minutes to the beach
Suyeong Traditional Daljipnori (Full Moon Bonfire)
February 19, 2019 at Gwangalli Beach, 3:00 p.m. – 6:20 p.m.
(Moonrise: 5:50 p.m.)
Events: Jwibulnori, New Year’s wish writing
Intangible Cultural Heritage Performance (Suyeong Yaru, Jwasuyeong Eobang Nori)
Jisin-balgi performance, ritual ceremony, Daljip burning
Directions: Gwangan Station (Metro line 2), exit 3 or 5
Baegunpo Dalmaji Festival
February 19, 2019 at Baekunpo Sports Park in Nam-gu, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Events: Jisinbalgi (Treading on the Earth God), celebratory performance, dance and music performance, traditional folk play, photo zone, food zone and more
Address: 106, Baegunpo-ro, Nam-gu, Busan
Directions: Take bus no. 22, 39, 20, 24 or 27 and get off at Baegunpo sports park bus stop or Baegunpo bus stop.
February 19, 2019 at Songdo Beach in Seo-gu, 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Daljip bonfire lighting, 7:00 p.m.
Events: Traditional Folk Play, Gangkang Suwollae (Korean circle dance), Intangible cultural heritage performance, fireworks, celebratory performance, food zone
Directions: Jagalchi Station (Metro line 1), exit 1 → Transfer to bus nos. 7, 26, 71, 96→ Get off at Songdo Beach Bus Stop.
February 19, 2019 at Dadaepo Beach, 2:00 p.m. –
Opening Ceremony, Daljip bonfire lighting, 6:00 p.m.
Events: Celebratory performance, complimentary food and drink, Jisinbalgi, traditional folk play
Directions: Dadaepo Beach Station (Metro line 1), exit 2 → walk about 4 minutes to the beach