South Korea 08/11/06

korea-081106Registered first day cover from South Korea, posted in Yeouido on November 6, 2008.

This marvelous FDC has attached the mini-sheet of the Korea-Hongkong joint issue.

Korea’s mask – Chwibari mask seen in Bongsan mask Dance Drama

Having been performed since approximately 200 years ago, mainly as part of the Dano festival, Bongsan Mask Dance Drama is representative of Hwanghae province and its dance movements are cheerful and vigorous. Bongsan Mask Dance Drama is composed of 7 segments: Sasangjwa dance, Palmokjung dance, Sadang dance, Nojang dance, Saja (lion) dance, Yangban (nobleman) dance and Miyal dance. Featuring decadent monks, ruined yangban, his servants, shaman and ordinary folks, this dance conveys the message of “promoting virtue and rejecting vice” through lighthearted satire of the meager lives of ordinary folks contrasted with the Yangban/self-indulgent monks. The stamp features the scene of the Bongsan Mask Dance where Chwibari is hugging his child and of the Saja dance. In Bongsan Mask Dance, the lion is theentity sent by Buddha to chastie the wickedness of the human world.

Hong Kong’s mask – Big Head Buddha mask seen in the Lion Dance of the Southern area

Big Head Buddha appears mostly when a new year commences. There are various stories about the origin of Big Head Buddha, but mostly, it appears with lions. According to the legend, the lion was a spiritual animal in Buddhism , and it seeks deeper enlightenment about Buddha’s teachings. Holding a fan made of palm tree leaves in one hand, Big Head Buddha hits the lion’s head with this fan whenever the lion strays in concentration and leads the lion to the state of enlightenment. He also elevates the festive atmosphere by leading, through funny acts, the lion to make various gestures that are known to bring about good luck and rich harvest.

(Text of the issue’s information sheet)

Thank you, XU Hui and Seung Young Oh, for sending me again such a beautiful cover!

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