Chuseok is a festival that falls in the eighth month of the lunar calendar in which Korean people enjoy the greatest moon of the year. In particular, in the farming community people give thanks for abundant crops, pay respects to the spirits of their ancestors and visit ancestors’ tombs to trim plants and clean the area around them. The exodus for homecoming is still prevalent although the necessity has been reduced a little as the country has entered in the industrial stage.
◈ Sinmyo Year’s Mannalje (reunion festival)
This is one of the major festivals during the Chuseok holiday with a theme of reuniting mother and daughter. The festival is held for two days at the Mannal (reunion) Park and its surrounding area.
The event dated back to the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1932) period in Changwon. Based on the legend of a dramatic reunion between a mother and daughter, it is a folk festival seeking meeting, longing and reconciliation, traditional Korean emotions.
The reunion festival is comprised of a madanggeuk(plays performed on the an open-air stage) on the reunion of a mother and daughter, dangsan festival, gilnori or road play, folk play competition, national students’ folk games, youth singing contest of traditional Korean songs, themed dance “Tal”(mask), kite flying, minsok seodang or traditional folk village school.
Dangsan is a mountain or hill near the village that local residents regard sacred as they believe a guardian of the land or village lives there.
◈ Namsan Sangbongje (reunion festival)
Namsan Sangbongje (reunion festival) is a celebration by villagers near the smaller Mt. Nam at the foot of Mt. Cheonju to show their appreciation for abundant crops after they work hard to harvest them. They enjoy drinking and dancing while moving around the village to wish peace to the village and to promote friendship with neighbors.
There are many other traditional tangible and intangible heritages such as Changwon Eupseong (fortress), Dahori Tombs, Changwon Ogwangdae or masque, and Changwon Daedohobu (an administrative unit larger than a county) which symbolizes the 600 year history of Changwon.