As many as 1,000 Chinese tourists will visit South Korea's capital city this week to experiences first hand Korea's seasonal customs of "Dano" which falls on Thursday, the Seoul metropolitan government said Wednesday.
"Dano" is a major Korean traditional festival which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. It was celebrated in the past by farmers who wished for a good annual harvest after rice planting season.
Titled "Seoul Dano," the tour program has been jointly developed between the Seoul city government and China's largest state-run tourist company China Travel Service.
The joint tour program sold out in April in major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, according to municipal authorities.
According to the tour program, the visiting Chinese travelers will converge at the Namsan Hanok Village on Thursday in downtown Seoul, where they will experience what the Dano festival has to offer.
One of the customs is washing hair with water boiled with "changpo" (sweet flag), an herb known to make hair shiny. The hair washing tradition is believed to expel evil spirits.
The Chinese tourists will also have a chance to make traditional folding fans or "hapjukseon" which is made by splitting and trimming bamboo strips as part of the complicated process.
Others will be able to enjoy a traditional Korean swing.
Also, there will be performances of tightrope walking and "Samulnori," a traditional percussion ensemble.
Organizers pointed out that Dano is viewed as the most vibrant day of the year with people praying for vigor, a good harvest and peace and prosperity.
They also pray to remove bad spirits and exchange folding fans with each other as gifts. Dano food includes rice cakes made out of vegetables and cherry drinks.
Dano is one of four major holidays here along with Seollal or Lunar New Year's Day; Chuseok, the autumnal full-moon festival or the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving; and Hansik, the 105th day after the winter solstice. (Yonhap)