ICH Events to Take Place during PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

Culture Olympics POCOG Mark © PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will not only be a global sports festival but also provide an opportunity for visitors to encounter many forms of intangible cultural heritage. The PyeongChang 2018 Cultural Olympiad1. will be held by the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the Olympics of PyeongChang County  and Gangneung City, to introduce diverse cultural programs to global visitors on the occasion of the Olympics.

The Cultural Olympiad includes cultural events, entertainment, festivities, and hands-on activities that embody the Olympic spirit and values, for both Koreans and foreign visitors. It will take place for forty-four days from 3 February, one week before the opening of the Olympics, to 18 March, the closing day of the Paralympic Games.

At Live Site in Gangneung Olympic Park, the venue for ice sports, visitors will be able to see an exhibition of gijisi, Korea’s traditional tug-of-war that was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015. On 20 February, there is an outdoor demonstration of gijisi. The International Mask Culture & Arts Organization (IMACO) will display a world mask culture exhibition, “Andong, the Mecca of World Mask Culture.” IMACO will also showcase a world mask performance at the Traditional Culture Pavilion in PyeongChang Olympic Plaza, the same venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, and at the Gangneung Art Centre in Gangneung Olympic Park. And, the Korea Craft and Design Foundation will offer an exhibition and an experience workshop on Korean crafts. In the Media Village, cultural performances will be presented twice a day and exhibitions will be displayed as well. In the Olympic Villages, foreign visitors can experience Korean seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) traditions.

The Gangneung Art Centre will also present traditional art performances of the world on 10 and 11 February. These will include traditional art performances from China, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Canada. A traditional art performance by South and North Korean performers is also planned (TBD). Tickets to the performances are available through the Gangneung Art Centre.

Meanwhile, various traditional and cultural events will take place across PyeongChang County and Gangneung City. In Ojuk Hanok Village, a historic site in Gangneung City, visitors can enjoy traditional performances and folk games, including Korea’s nongak performance. In the Myeongju Art Center, a kimchi making class will allow visitors to experience kimjang culture (making and sharing kimchi). In the Imdang Culture Center, a winter folk craft exhibition will be displayed, in addition to “Scent of Thousand’s Year,” a performance under the the motif of the Gangneung Danoje Festival. On Wolhwa Street in downtown Gangneung, there will be a performance of the Danjong state funeral. And, on the outdoor stage of the Daedohobu Office, visitors can enjoy and experience traditional culture, folk games, dobaerye (a New Year greeting ceremony toward the village elder), a traditional wedding, and much more.

PyeongChang County will promote local traditions by inviting folklore preservation associations from eight villages in the county as well as famous traditional folk troupes from across Korea to perform during the PyeongChang Trout Festival, the Daegwallyeong Snow Festival, and Last Mile. Starting with PyeongChang Folklore Group’s gamuak (song-dance-music performance), the events will be feature daily and include drumming, folk plays, pungmul (Korea’s folk music), nongak (Korean farmer’s music), and Namsadang gwangdae nori (folk performance by Namsadang clowns) performances to promote Korea’s traditional festive spirit.

It is hoped that intangible cultural heritage will add excitement and memories to the visitors of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. For more information and directions, visit the PyeongChang 2018 Cultural Olympiad website or Gangneung Cultural Olympiad website.

Notes   [ + ]

1. The 2018 Gangneung Cultural Olympiad is running concurrently to the PyeongChang 2018 Cultural Olympiad for events in the Gangneung area.