Friday, October 05, 2012

Gwacheon HanMadang Festival

Even before the Chuseok holiday, Yvonne and I decided to get out of town. My idea was that I would go to Chuncheon and she would go to Gwangju, but she had a problem with this.

So it was that we decided to head to Gwacheon for its Hanmadang (one frontyard) Festival. Luckily it was easily reachable by the underground and after a light breakfast of cornpone, johnnycake, and light bread with hardtack (for balance)  we headed out.

We got there just after 2, which was a bit early as nothing was really going on.

We wandered around the outskirts of the festival until we found the “main madang” and sat down in the rather hot sun to watch some traditional Korean dancing. Then it was a short walk around the ‘main madang’ and a trip back out to the outskirts where there was puppetry, modern dance, and disembodied body parts – the typical fare one finds fair when a faire one finds.

Yvonne had brought homework to grade, making it fairwork, I suppose, and after a bit I wandered the town looking for a glasses shop as I was wearing a pair with its temples bent like, well, let’s stay away from Thai bars and say, bent like a modern dancer, and one lens taped in with masking tape.

No luck, but I did spot a boite, a hot boite I thought, and when Yvonne called me we met there for a quick beer and then headed off to see something that was going to involved garbage.

It was a coolish modern-art performance and it did include fire and confetti explosion, so I was well pleased. Then it was off so Yvonne could watch Korean traditional high-wire (well, about six feet off the ground) walking. I’m not sure how she’s missed seeing this before as it sometimes seems that the every Korean with a spare minute tosses on a clown suit, throws up a strand of nautical rope and performs for spare change.

Oh well, I headed off to check out the food (“alcohol”) stands and noticed that although there was an enormous bonfire being built, the schedule said it would not be fired up until after 9, and it was already getting a bit nippy. When Yvonne bailed on the semi-high-wire act, we both looked around and decided it was time to head home.

So we did.

 I believe the following film documents our experiences grandly.

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