Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hahoe Village in Andong

We decided to turn a trip down south for Emma's 3rd birthday party into a mini-vacation to the historic Gyeongsang province of Korea.  This area, located in the southeastern part of the peninsula is where the Silla Empire (57 BC – 935 AD) ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries.  On Friday, we stopped in the city of Andong to wander around Hahoe Village.  It is a place where-tile roofed and straw-roofed houses built in the 1500's have been well preserved and are still lived in today.  The village is probably the most charming and picturesque neighborhood I have seen in Korea.  I almost want to live there!

Oh, I must mention that at the entrance of the village is a collection of "Janseung" or Korean totem poles.  I think Koreans are obsessed with "fertility" or perhaps just with a certain part of the male anatomy!

The village is famous for it's international mask festival which is held in October.  Traditional mask dances from around the world are performed and many traditional activities such as poetry parties boat rides, and fire shows take place.  We visited the mask museum to get a glimpse of the unique variety of disguises created by many different cultures.

For his birthday our driver presented Bob with a traditional Korean mask.  It reminds me a lot of Mr. Kim, who is always smiling and happy.

We purchased a plain molded pressed paper mask for Emma to embellish as she desired.  Her colorful creation primarily features her two favorite colors - pink and blue (as well as Gaga's favorite - green.)  Pretty Cute!  Emma even performs some awesome dance moves to go along with it!

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