|Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013 - The Melting Pot of Past, Present and Future|
Every year, the fascinating world of Goryeo Dynasty celadon unfolds at the Goryeo celadon kiln sites in Gangjin-gun District of Jeollanam-do Province. With paintings of flying cranes, beautiful curves and blue colors, Goryeo celadon has long been celebrated as a symbol of beauty and craftsmanship in Korean ceramics. This year, the 41st Gangjin Celadon Festival 2013 will take place from July 27 through August 4.
The Gangjin Celadon Festival venue is equipped with special facilities built for the convenience and enjoyment of visitors. First, there is a stream formed by drawing water that runs through the Jeongsusa Valley, a popular resting spot for Goryeo Dynasty potters. Second, there is a vine tunnel, shaded tent area, and fountain. Next, the Celadon Museum holds daily celadon workshops where visitors can learn the Sanggam Cheongja method, daily uses of celadon, and celadon production.
Pottery is the most popular program among festival visitors. Spin the wheel, and make a cup, jar, flower vase or anything you desire with the help of a trained potter. Then, add decorations and inscribe your name. Leave the pottery to dry for 2-3 hours before taking it home.
Glue broken celadon pieces onto a paper plate in the shape of a celadon. Use a hammer provided at the site to break the pieces into even smaller pieces.
Place celadon pattern stickers on a white T-shirt. Paint inside or outside the stickers using a small brush. Take the stickers off, and you have a T-shirt with colorful celadon patterns.
Put a little bit of crushed garden balsam mixture on each fingernail, and wrap your fingernails tight with plastic wrap. After 2-3 hours, open the wraps to see your fingernails dyed scarlet. There is a belief that if the fingernails retain the color by the first snow fall, your first love will come true.
Celadon Pattern Printing
Choose a celadon pattern block, and apply black ink on the pattern using a sponge. Then, press the block on a piece of hanji paper, and gently rub the surface of the paper. Write your name and date on the same paper before laminating it to take home.
Gangjin Celadon Museum
Highlighting the beauty of Goryeo celadon, the Gangjin Celadon Museum holds approximately 30,000 artifacts, including 100 pieces of original, intact celadon. In addition, the museum’s library and exhibition hall have audio materials and visual displays that show the history, production methods, and other distinct features of Goryeo celadon.
Dasan Chodang (Exile House of Dasan)
Dasan Chodang is where Dasan*, a silhak (practical learning) scholar of the Joseon Dynasty, was exiled. Here, Dasan compiled his thoughts on silhak, and published about 500 books, including Mokminsimseo (Guidelines for Local Governors).
Birthplace of Yeongrang
Kim Yeong-rang (1903-1950) was a leading lyric poet most well-known for the poem titled “Till the Peony Blooms”. Before moving to Seoul with his family in September 1948, Kim had lived in this house for 45 years. Today, only the bonchae (main building) and sarangchae (guests’ quarters) remain. In the courtyard, there is a grove of peonies that bloom every May, creating a beautiful scene.
Located at the tip of Gangjinman Bay, Maryang Port was once the main port of Gangjin-gun County and a pit stop for horses shipped from Jeju Island. Thanks to the seafood restaurants nearby, the port remains a popular destination for tourists seeking fresh fish.
Of many culinary delights in Jeollanam-do Province, one of the most popular is the Gangjin hanjeongsik or Korean table d’hote. Hanjeongsik includes more than 30 types of side dishes made with seasonal ingredients harvested from the nearby fields and sea. Moreover, most hangjeongsik restaurants serve their dishes on celadon plates for both presentation and flavor.
Tohas are small freshwater shrimps found in rivers or reservoirs. They are also served at most local restaurants. It has a slight smell of soil, and is usually eaten with garlic, paper, garlic, sesame seed, as well as other ingredients.
# Mudskipper Hop Pot
Mudskippers are fish found in wetlands and feed on plankton. Thanks to their habit of living in the sun, they do not smell, and, therefore, are easy to eat. A Mudskipper Hot Pot is a dish made with ground mudskippers, doenjang (soybean paste), outer cabbage leaves, perilla seeds, onions, garlic, scallions, and other ingredients.
* Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization