Tonic for the Middle of the Dog Days

Tonic for the Middle of the Dog Days

Today is Jungbok, the second of the Sambok, the Three Hot Days (i.e. Dog Days of Summer). The Sambok have long been described as the hottest days of the year. The concept was disseminated into Korean lore from China, where the Sambok were calculated according to the...
The Wind God

The Wind God

In recent days, there have been heavy winds and wind warnings in the region of Paju where Shawn lives. The deity from the Korean pantheon that oversees the winds is Pung-shin, also called (among many names) Yeong-deung. Pung-shin is often depicted as an elderly woman,...
Stone Temple Lanterns

Stone Temple Lanterns

A seok-deung (석등/石燈), stone lantern, on the grounds of Bo-gwang Temple. In original temple ground layouts, a single lantern was placed near the main hall. Its purpose was to literally and figuratively fend off the darkness. Bo-gwang Temple, deep in Paju at the foot of...
Move When the Gho–Guests are Gone

Move When the Gho–Guests are Gone

Happy Folklore Thursday! In folk tradition, choosing an auspicious day to move into a new house was paramount. Such days are called sohn-obneun-nal (손없는날), ‘Day of No Guests.’ Folklore tells us ghosts are active, either from the north, east, south, or west, on certain...