A scene from a tug-of-war match at the National Inter-provincial Games-2018. Tug-of-war is one of the popular mass sports in the DPRK.
Tug-of-war is a traditional sport of the Korean people tracing its history back to ancient times.
The game has widely been spread in Korea since the period of the Three Kingdoms.
According to the historical records including Tonggukyojisungnam and Rimhaphilgi, tugs-of-war were held in splendour on folk holidays such as Jongwoldaeborum or the first full moon day by the lunar calendar and Chusok or harvest moon day.
On Jongwoldaeborum every year, in particular, tug-of-war games were enjoyed in all parts of the country as a conventional event, unfolding spectacular sights.
At that time, the games were played between villages and regarded as important occasions for showing off the unity of villagers. They believed that winning the games would bring the village a good harvest that year, which in turn aroused their competitive spirit.
The tug-of-war game of the year started with the “baby tug-of-war” played by children early in January and climaxed with the adults’ game on Jongwoldaeborum. There were also some special events in different areas.
As it has been developed into a popular national sports event in the DPRK with the dissemination and training methods systematized and the rules and apparatuses standardized, now the tug-of-war has become a more interesting and sight-worthy sport.