Saturday, February 25, 2012

Loud and Old (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

Back in fall 2009, my mother and I went on a visit to The Land of the Morning Calm. On the morning of our third day our South Korean vacation, we went to Jongmyo Shrine, South Korea's oldest Confucian royal shrine which has existed in its present form since the 16th century.

Although this UNESCO World Heritage-listed locale is indisputably old and dedicated to commemorating the dead (specifically, the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty that ruled over Korea from 1392 to 1910), it can be a less quiet place than one might think. One reason for this is that royal ancestral rites and ritual music continue to be performed in this part of Seoul from time to time.

As it so happened, the day we visited this site was one of those special days when the Jongmyo Jerye ancestral rite took place. The first inkling my mother and I had that this was going on came shortly after we passed through the entrance of the Jongmyo Shrine and heard what we initially mistook for loud piped music but soon realized was being produced at a live performance in the outdoor area of the complex's main Jeongjeon compound.

Somewhere along the way, we also found printed pamphlets informing us about the ceremony -- one that involved movements so formal I almost hesitate to describe it as a dance along with music and still more ritual activities -- that we got to witness when we entered that physically stark but still nonetheless pretty impressive space.

Looking back at my 2009 Korean visit as a whole, I definitely think that being witness to that ancient traditional ceremony at the authentically old Jongmyo Shrine was one of that trip's highlights. And while I did previously blog about it soon after, I reckon it's worth another blog post -- not least because this entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts allows me to put up three more photos of the shrine and its attendant ceremony that I hadn't previously done before! :)


Gattina said...

What an interesting combination of both themes !

bing said...

i love, love, the LOUD red color of their outfit. :-D

Sue St Clair said...

A lovely choice for both themes, and wold definitely be interesting to see! :)

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, wonderful photos and take for the two themes. How fortunate for you and your mother to be there to be able to witness this special ceremony. I also love the colors in your photos and that's a great composition in you last shot.

Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

I hope your comment means you approve... ;b

Hi bing --

Teehee... hadn't thought of the color of the outfits as being loud -- but guess you're right about that! :b

Hi Sue --

Seeing *AND* hearing... ;)

Hi Trekcapri --

Thanks for appreciating my photos. And yes, it was really cool to come across that ceremony. It really made the place come alive for me/us. :)

Life Ramblings said...

it's always great to get a glimpse of different cultures and traditions in other parts of the world. great post.

gengen said...

Great one...From PH!

CherryPie said...

That sounds like a really interesting visit and you have some nice photo memories of it too.

Mar said...

Fascinating post for the themes! Love the red ...gowns? beautiful!

loud and +

Carver said...

That sounds and looks like a fascinating place to visit. Great shots for both themes. Happy Weekend.

Anne said...

Wow, that sounds like a fascinating experience! Thanks so much for sharing it.

Jerry said...

Great post for this week's theme! Have a good weekend.

A. @ A Changing Life said...

I was sent a postcard from Jongmyo just a few weeks ago. How wonderful! I'd forgotten about your previous post. That is somewhere I'd love to see.

YTSL said...

Hi Life Ramblings --

Thanks -- and I'll take the opportunity to say the same to you for your blog posts! :)

Hi gengen --

Sorry, the pedant in me: you mean, for PH, right? ;)

Hi CherryPie --

Yes, it was an interesting visit. In general, got much out of my visit to 2009 South Korea -- way more than my first visit to that country back in 1982! ;b

Hi Mar --

I guess you could call them gowns... ;)

Hi Carver --

It is a fascinating place to visit -- and, as you can imagine, is the kind of place shutterbugs can get lots of good shots. :)

Hi Anne --

You're welcome re the sharing. Thanks for appreciating my doing so. :)

Hi Jerry --

Thanks and hope you have a good weekend too!

Hi A. --

What coincidence re Jongmyo. Do you plan to visit East Asia some time yourself? :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I'm glad you shared them with us...
Thanks for joining The Saturday PhotoHunt.
I hope to see you 'DROP' by next Saturday...
♥ Sandi

Annie said...

What good timing to have visited when this was happening. It looks like a fascinating shrine and I enjoyed learning about it, so thanks!

cindyrina said...

I love it! great experience you have there! I am planning to visit korea sometime this year1

YTSL said...

Hi Sandi --

Thanks for DROPping by... ;b

Hi Annie --

Yeah, one of those serendipitous happenings that really can make a holiday really cool. :)

Hi cindyrina --

Hope you have a good time in Korea when you visit there. :)