Andong Mask Festival
Together with the start of the 10 day Chuseok Holidays, started the Andong Mask Festival. A week long festival that was originally a shamanist rite addressing the spirits in Hahoe Village, a preserved Joseon Dynasty village.
The festival soon evolved into an occasion where the common people could make fun of the people with a higher power, like monks, noblemen and government officials.
The festival runs yearly in September/October and always manages to attract many foreign tourists. This year we were lucky to go on trip organized by M.U.P. (Modernized Universal Platform) leaving from Itaewon, Seoul. The bus took us straight to the main grounds in the city center where we stayed most of the day doing all sorts of activities.
Upon arrival we started off with a delicious lunch, and shared a big plate of 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal) for 30 000KW which came with many different side dishes like kimchi, peppers and mussels. Obviously you can’t have a proper lunch at a Korean festival without 막걸리 (makgeolli) or 맥주 (beer).
The next activity was “Mask Making”, for only 5000 KW you get a cardboard mask and 5 different colours to decorate your mask with. We had a blast, it took us around 1h to finish the mask and it was a great experience, definitely recommendable for both children and adults.
When walking around on the festival grounds you can see many different booths, traditional and modern performances and food carts.
Every hour you can buy tickets for the traditional mask performance, the tickets are 5000KW and the performance lasts 1h. The performance gives you a taste of how this would have been in those days. The show has the typical characters like the Evil Stepmother, the Grandmother, the Monk, the Innocent Girl, the Joker, the Wise Men and the Drunken Men.
At 7pm the firework festival started at Hahoe Village, which is surrounded by the Nakdong River. For the festival ropes were stretched across the river. At nightfall these were set on fire, which gave a wonderful effect as sparks started to rain down. At the same time burning hay balls were thrown down while lanterns were being lit. This was finished off by a small firework show.
You can get to Andong by bus from Seoul, this will take around 3 hours and should cost 16 000 won. There are two bus terminals that have busses to Andong; Gangnam Express Bus Terminal or East Express Bus Terminal. The busses are running every 30 minutes. If you are travelling in weekends, make sure to book your ticket in advance as busses are easily fully booked. You can reach Hahoe Village by bus 46, which should take 50 minutes from the train station.
Looking for accommodation in Andong? Why not try one of these?
Gotaya Guesthouse ~ cute guest house close to Andong Station
Suaedang Hanok Stay ~ looking for a Hanok experience? Than this is the place for you!
Like this “Moonlight Festival in Andong” post? Why not pin it!