ANDONG, North Gyeongsang Province -- Two hours from Seoul’s Cheongnyangni Station by KTX, the high-speed rail service, Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, is a city known for its longstanding traditions and beautiful landscape.
The Culture Ministry, in 2020, named Andong a "Tourism Hub City" along with Busan, Gangneung, Jeonju and Mokpo and Korea Tourism Organization been working to bolster international tourism in the designated cities.
Andong has a rich history associated with talchum, traditional mask dance, manifested through oral traditions, social practices and the craftsmanship of masks.
In November last year, talchum was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. One particular talchum genre, known as the Hahoebyeolsingut-talnori, traces its roots to Hahoe Village in Andong.
The annual Andong Maskdance Festival, held since 1997, is an integral part of the Byeolsingut Festival which used to be held in Hahoe Village, its tradition dating back over 800 years.
This year’s event, which ended Oct. 9, showcased 18 different genres of talchum recognized by the UNESCO and also included mask dances from different countries. Numerous booths were set up where visitors could experience traditions and culture of Andong, while global street food and music filled the open arena.
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