Gyeongbokgung Palace 景福宫

17 November 2012

경복궁, Seoul, Korea


It was August 15th, Korea Liberation Day to commemorate liberation of the nation from Japanese Colonization on the exact same day in 1945 at the end of Word War II when Japan declared an unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces. It's a national public holiday.

We had a cultural visit to Gyeong Buk Gung palace on that day. All the foreigners participating the summer program in Inha University were there to experience the traditional culture of the Koreans. We were lucky enough to catch up with their guards' parade, which is part of the scheduled performance that show us the ceremony of the royal guards changing of shift to another group of guards. There were music, traditional costumes, weapons and flags. 

 

The palace was built in the year 1394, and was resided by many kings, including the renowned King Sejong (post here). It's one of the five grand palaces of the country and the main and largest. In my opinion the architecture, symbolism and interior are slightly similar to the Chinese, maybe less extravagant compared to the Forbidden City in Beijing.

As it was a public holiday (and entrance was free only on that day) the crowd was incredible! Incredibly incredible. We could hardly snap any photo without passer-by A or B appearing next to you. But it's okay, the more the merrier.

 

Unfortunately and very sadly, we were only able to see just the main palace of the mass area. It started raining cats and dogs the very moment we started exploring the garden and pretending to be the royals. S-A-D. And I remembered how we struggled to leave the place reluctantly, all wet and starving. We hadn't even tried on the traditional king and queen costumes yet!

We moved to Nanta Theather. In case you haven't heard of it, this NANTA show is one of the best shows in Korea. Basically the actors slash musicians performed using the most convenient and natural instruments: things in the kitchen. Pots, pails, spade, spatula, fork, knife, oven, CARROT, cabbage, cupboard... whatever you name it, they use it.

The story is about a young man, who is the niece of the restaurant's manager, comes to help the three existing workers in the kitchen to complete a wedding dinner.

Honestly and sincerely, it was one of the best live show I have ever ever ever seen! Fantastic and DAE-BAK. It creates a mix of happy, relaxing, exciting and passionate atmosphere and feeling. The music, the dance and effect was ... PERFECT!


The stage was small, but big enough to give me an unforgettable experience. It was an NANTAstic noon.






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