October 07, 2002 16:33
A Traditional fanfare signaled the launch of the 'Ganghwa Dolmen Culture Festival,' which opened on Friday northwest of Seoul. At the center of this third annual event stand the Ganghwa Dolmen believed to date back to 1000BC and which UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has inscribed as a cultural property on the World Heritage List.
The prehistoric stone monuments, which were used as tombstones for burial sites, also served as a place for worship and rituals. Under the theme, "The Museum Without Walls," this year's festival is a chance for visitors to experience first-hand what life thousands of years ago may have been like.
The festival also promotes Ganghwa's cultural heritage and its scenic beauty across the nation and also throughout the world. Visitors are treated to dramatizations of life back then for the indigenous people with children and adults alike given a glimpse into every aspect through activities such as food preparation.
Other sideline events include contemporary performances in front of the prehistoric structures.
The Festival also featured the region's specialty items, including ginseng and Hwa Moon Seok, a traditional mattresses hand-woven from strands of a sedge plant.
The main festivities ended Sunday, but those curious about the Ganghwa dolmen can learn more at a special exhibition, which runs until early November.
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