Talchum mask dance performance (Photo courtesy of the Andong Festival Tourism Foundation)

Andong Mask Dance Festival 2011 is set to kick of its ten-day carnival from September 30 to October 9 at multiple outdoor venues around Andong City including Talchum Park and the whole area of Hahoe Village. Founded in 1997, the mask dance festival has established itself as one of the most thrilling cultural festivals to represent Korea over the course of the last 15 years.

Under the slogan “Festival, Make Me a King,” the 15th edition of the festival will be packed with approximately 70 indoor and outdoor performances. The indoor and outdoor performances held throughout the city will feature not only Korea’s traditional mask dance teams, but also performers and professionals from 15 countries across the globe including Russia, Israel, and India.

Anyone can participate in mask painting and create one's own mask (Photos courtesy of the Andong Festival Tourism Foundation).

The festival offers various exhibitions on Korean folk traditions and hands-on activities such as learning the moves of the Korean traditional mask dance called talchum, and painting one’s own mask. Whoever wears a mask is encouraged to join the marchers as part of the festival’s parade, regardless of age, gender, and nationality.

If you plan to go around, be sure to drop by Hahoe Village and discover one of the last living vestiges of old folk Confucian tradition. The village was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 in recognition of its well-preserved treasure-trove of Korean traditional culture.

For more information, please visit the official websites:
* Hahoe Village in Andong: www.hahoe.or.kr (Korean, English and Japanese)
* 2011 Andong International Mask Dance Festival: www.maskdance.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, and German)

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer
[Source: Korea.net]