Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 15th Day of the Lunar New Year

The 15th day of the Lunar New Year is the end of the New Year celebrations.  My wife told me it is the first full moon of the lunar year, and that in Korea it is customary to eat a bowl of rice cake soup.

This afternoon we drove to Waon Beach and parked at Reeds Beach (a lone and very remote sign along the trail in English said Redds Beach, but Suncheon Bay is known for its reeds...not its redds.  If I am incorrect about this, please let me know.  The Korean text did state 갈대, though) next to the two story wooden observation structure.  It was low tide at the time, hence I was able to walk along the shore on the trail that connects the different areas of Waon with one another.  

It was a beautiful sunny day, however, as was expected this time of the year, the winds blew in from Suncheon Bay with a fierce bite.  Even with my considerable bulk, being still to take a photograph was a challenge.  

In the distance I could see the local villagers had built a massive bound structure on one of the large concrete piers in Waon Village itself.  Yes...a bonfire tonight!  There were not many people at all, so we easily found a parking space near the festivities.

As it happened I went one way, and my wife went another.  It wasn't too long before some of the locals who were in charge of this 15th Day Celebration hustled me across the street to have a bowl of rice cake soup, clams...and 소주.  I should have known, but my wife was already there, and she flashed me her special smile when I approached.  It was a nice way to warm-up, though the wind was still biting cold.  A couple of the village leaders took the time to meet us as well.

One uncle who helped run the event took a particular liking to us, and he was happy I was gulping everything down and happy to hear me trying to speak Korean.  The flow of the conversation turned to why I am in Korea at the present time.  We talked about our business; I presented my business card, and just like that we made an appointment for the man and his son to visit me.  Always take business cards everywhere, every single time, everyday.  Always!  I carry two different sets of cards:  one for my licensed English tutoring business, and the other for my photographic work.  Always!

Just at sundown, a man  poured fuel at the base of the bonfire structure at the windward.  Then the village leaders lit it, and the wind whipped the flames.  Here are some photographs:

 The Village Leaders Lighting the Bonfire
© 2013 Mark Eaton

Wind and Fire
© 2013 Mark Eaton

The Base of the Bonfire
© 2013 Mark Eaton

Near the End
© 2013 Mark Eaton


4 comments:

  1. Amazing! You always inspire and are so talented! :)

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  2. Thank you for your very kind words, Poppy. I am very glad you like it.

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  3. Replies
    1. I appreciate your taking the time to read the story and to view the images. I hope to never forget these experiences.

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