Tang Emperor Taizong once sent Queen Xiongdok of the United Silla Kingdom with flowers and associated flower seeds. When the queen did not see a butterfly ringing around the beautiful flowers in the picture, she noticed that the flowers did not smell. When the seeds were planted and the flowers bloomed from them their evaluation was completed. The action of the Chinese emperor was considered a gesture of insult to the unmarried queen. Because at that time getting married and creating an heir was considered one of the main duties of the royal family.
In the past, a married couple was identified in pictures with a pair of butterflies and a flower. Today, flowers abound in cities, but butterflies are rarely seen around them. So let’s start today’s chapter with a song about butterflies. A well-known poem in Korea, “Butterfly, Let’s Go to the Blue Mountain” was set to music for the piano. It says:
Butterfly, let’s go to the blue mountain.
Swallowtail will be with us.
We lie down to rest in the flowers at sunset.
If they reject us, we spend the night in the leaves.
April 4 is the beginning of one of the 24 and 24 seasons in Seongmyong. Siongmyong means “clearing the sky” and describes a period in the spring when everything is revived. An old Korean proverb even says that a stick starts to germinate when planted in Siongmyong. Hansik fell on April 5th, and this year is one of the four biggest holidays of the year, including New Year, Dano in early summer and Suzuki in the fall. Eating cold food was customary in Hansik. In the past, you needed a fire to cook and heat, but none of them burned in the oven that day. Because the fire in the house in Hansik brought a new one to light. It is also customary to visit the tombs of the ancestors and perform ancestral rites there. For example, the song “Zejion” from the West describes how a woman goes to her dead husband’s grave and performs an ancestral rite there. She puts many of her husband’s favorite foods and wine in front of the grave. She later laments the untimely death of her husband and the fact that he left her alone.
In the spring, the hands of farmers are full. They pour water up to the fields to plant the paddy seedlings. Yongdure this was used for this. It is a large wooden shrine which was used to bring water from the reservoir to the paddy fields. Pulled from three long stakes and played back and forth by two or three people. Everyone worked to the same rhythm and the movements were well coordinated and one song was often sung. Because with the cheerful melody on your lips, working together is so much easier and faster. For this reason, there are plenty of work songs in Korea, but they vary by region.
- “Butterfly, let’s go to the blue mountain” sung by Kim Yeong-im
- “Jejion” sung by Kim Jong-yeon
- “Water taking song with Yongdoor” sung by the community to preserve Goyang’s rural songs