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.

Andong Mask Festival

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!


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13 Responses

  1. Chantal Drouin-Charters says:

    Pretty cool masks, especially the ones you made. Love it.

  2. I didn’t know about that festival !! Thank you for that complete article 🙂

  3. Momma Patsy says:

    If I ever visit Korea I am planning it around this festival.

  4. Cassie Liz says:

    Wow I have never heard of this festival before but it sounds so fascinating! From your photos I know it’s a place I’d love to check out some day!

  5. This looks like a lot of fun!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Wow, what an amazing looking festival, I have never heard of it before. I love the mask design 🙂 x

  7. Stephanie says:

    The festival looks like so much fun. And Korean food is always delicious! I’ve never heard of this so thank you for sharing!

  8. Pretty cool festival. I have a soft spot for all things Korean. I’d love to go there one day. Look like you guys had a blast.

  9. something new for me 🙂 awesome and lovely!

  10. Oh wow! This looks like so much fun! I love that you get to make your own mask too. Such a nice little memento xx

  11. What an awesome festival! The masks you guys made are really cool too. I love reading posts like these because I may not see anything like this otherwise.

  12. My Real Dish says:

    I’ve never heard of this, but it looks like so much fun!

  13. Nita Okoye (@inhalelovewithN) says:

    I love this! i have always loved anything Korea.. Lol South korea at least . their meals are always delicious

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