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National Founder Dangun Day Marked in Seoul
A ritual marking the ascension day of Korea's national founder Dangun held at the Sajik Park in Seoul on March 15, 2007.

A grand ritual was held in observance of the national founder Dangun (Ӫ) in Sajik Park in Jeongno-gu, Seoul on March 15, 2007 to the tune of Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Music Orchestra. The ceremony is called the event of Eocheonjeol (õ: ), the Day of Dangun, who went to heaven, which falls on March 15 on the lunar calendar.

Among the numerous participants was Mayor Kim Choong-Yong of Jeongno Ward Office who said "All Korean people can respect Dangu as our national founder."

Eocheonjeol is the day to observe the national founder Dangun who came from heaven to the earth to open the nation and went back to heaven.

Dangun descended to the earth to create a utopia by ruling the world with humanitarian principles. ( ͣ). Throughout Korean history including Goryo and Jeoseon Dynasties the Eocheonjeol ceremony was held but stopped by the Imperial Japan which colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1935.

Eocheonjeol (õ: ) is one of the four festivals in the Great Religion, and an event to be held on March 15 by lunar calendar, which is the day for Hanbegeom to go to the Heaven. Hanbegeom came to the earth in the year of sangwongapja and opened the city of God and taught. Hanbegeom became the king to govern later on, and provided virtues of creation, education and governing for 217 years in the Trinity. The Grand Religion celebrates Hanbegeom as he went up to the Heaven, and each temple holds seoneuisik and gyeonghasik.

About Dangun

Dangun Wanggeom

Dangun Wanggeom (ܱհ: Ӫ) was the legendary founder of Gojoseon (: ͯ), the first kingdom of Korea, in present-day Liaoning, Manchuria and Korean peninsula. He is said to be the grandson of the god of heaven, and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BCE. Although the term Dangun commonly refers to the founder, some believe it was a title used by all rulers of Gojoseon, and that Wanggeom was the proper name of the founder.

Dangun's ancestry begins with his grandfather Hwanin (ȯ: ), the "Lord of Heaven" (a name which also appears in Indian Buddhist texts.) Hwanin had a son Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3000 followers to descend onto Baekdu Mountain, then called Taebaek Mountain (¹: ߣ), where Hwanung founded Sinsi (Ž: ) or "City of God." Along with his ministers of clouds, rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught humans various arts, medicine, and agriculture.

A tiger and a bear prayed to Hwanung (ȯ: ) that they may become human. Upon hearing their prayers, Hwanung gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for 100 days. The tiger gave up after about twenty days and left the cave. However, the bear remained and was transformed into a woman.

The bear-woman (Ungnyeo: ; ҳ) was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. However, she lacked a husband, and soon became sad and prayed beneath a Shindansu (Ŵܼ: Ӫ) or "Divine Betula" tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung, moved by her prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son, who was named Dangun Wanggeom.

Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Pyongyang, present capital of North Korea, and called the kingdom Joseon (: ). He then moved his capital to Asadal on Mount Baegak (or Mount Gunghol). Fifteen hundred years later, in the year Kimyo, King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty enfeoffed Jizi to Joseon, and Dangun moved his capital to Jangdangyeong. Finally, he returned to Asadal and became a mountain god at the age of 1,908.




 

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