The Andong Maskdance Festival runs until October 6th

by Simon Slater
haps Korea Magazine

The Andong Maskdance Festival gets underway today and runs until October 6th.

This centuries-old traditional affair sees the historic town of Andong at Maskdance Park and the nearby UNESCO heritage site Hahoe village host numerous performances, from Korean and international mask-based acts to taekwondo and breakdancing displays.

Stunningly situated on a riverbend with overlooking limestone cliffs, Hahoe village’s mask performances are followed by a live opera number preceding a fireworks display featuring a rain-like effect of flames over the river. At the Andong festival site, among the dancing, there are plenty of food and drink stalls, activities and fascinating people-watching opportunities to make it a worthwhile visit.

The best reason of all for making the trip is the people of Andong, who started the tradition of mocking the ruling classes and telling crude tales with their cleverly orchestrated mask dramas. The same full-bodied humor can still be observed in the locals’ hearty banter to this day.

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