While waiting for the parade to begin, this traditional folk music & dance troupe performed for us. Everyone got a big kick out of the local man, presumably drunk on makoli (rice wine) who decided he wanted to get in on the fun, despite being a little out of shape!
A little background information (which I will attempt to edit with the correct terms for later):
This entire festival is centered around the lunar calendar and praying for a good crop. The local farmers pray to the mountain Gods by employing shamans to conduct exorcisms of bad spirits, making and blessing sacred rice wine (a community activity) and through geomancy and divine guidance, find and bless a sacred tree from the mountains upon which to attach the prayers of the community. The parade has evolved around igniting and carrying the sacred tree from the mountains down to a pyre in town. Paper lanterns are carried by those who want to bless family members or have a specific wish to come true, which is written on paper and attached to the lanterns, and then they are then floated on the river to wash to the sea.
In addition to the parade, all week there are various events pantomiming various aspects of agriculture and or myths and legends related to the Gods, in the form of village songs (my video of the sacred rice wine dance didn’t upload for some reason) and dances and masked dramas. There are also mock battles symbolizing the people’s struggles to survive, as well as exhibitions of talent and competitive games.
We saw a momentary glimpse of the tree going past, but because we were IN the parade, we weren’t able to see any of the spectacle, unfortunately.
Also saw a portion of the masked drama, (which I have on DVD but I’m honoring the copyright and can’t share it) but I only caught the one staged for t.v. and it was constantly being interrupted and couldn’t film much of anything cohesive.
After the lantern sending off, I stopped at one of the two stages and caught this orchestra playing. I don’t think it translates well into video, and I’m not typically into orchestral music, but this orchestra made entirely of traditional instruments was incredibly stirring to listen to.
video of the noodle guy added to the ENCOUNTERS post