Culture

Swinging

Festival (2011)

Swinging is one of folk games played by the Korean women in spring and autumn from ancient times.

It began to be recorded in the Korean history from the second half of Koryo dynasty in the early 13th century.

Actually, it had been played earlier. But it was not on records in history because it was created and enjoyed by the commoners whereas the noble ruling circles paid no attention to it. The record in the 13th century proves that it began to be spread among the aristocratic class since then.

In its early years, a swing rope was fixed to the branch of a zelkova tree, and safety wristbands and a footboard were installed so that a player could rock back and forth the swing freely.

Afterwards, many strides were made in the setup of swinging and its playing method.

Two 11-m-high iron or wood poles were set up and connected with two crossbars.

The swinging ropes with 3 to 3.5 cm in diameter were fixed by coiling them around the two crossbars three or four times. The distance between ropes was 70 to 80 cm and the footboard, about 130 cm above the surface.

There are two playing methods—single- and double-swinging. In general, the single swinging is mainly played for a match. The result of a match is decided by kicking a bell hanging at the top of a pole in front of the swinging (its height can be adjusted). The match consists of two rounds, and the winner is decided by summarizing the bell’s height at the time of his or her last kicking and kicking number.

Swinging and other folk sports games are played in the national folk sports contest of agricultural workers, which is held every year in the DPRK.

Swinging is a national intangible cultural heritage of the DPRK.

Categories: Culture, History

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