Hanbok & Pyebaek

한복, Hanbok – Traditional Korean Dress

Hanbok is the traditional Korean dress. It is often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means “Korean clothing”, hanbok today often refers specifically to hanbok of the Joseon (Chosŏn) period and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear during traditional festivals and celebrations.

Throughout history, Korea had a dual clothing tradition, in which rulers and aristocrats adopted different kinds of mixed foreign-influenced indigenous styles, while the commoners continued to use a distinct style of indigenous clothing that today is known as Hanbok.

Basic Composition and Design

Traditional women’s hanbok consists of jeogori, a blouse shirt or a jacket and chima, a wrap-around skirt, which is usually worn full. The ensemble is often called chima jeogori. Men’s hanbok consists of jeogori and baji which means pants in Korea. The baji were baggy pants in traditional men’s hanbok.

Occasions

Hanbok is classified according to its purposes: everyday dress, ceremonial dress and special dress. Ceremonial dresses are worn on formal occasions, including a child’s first birthday, a wedding or a funeral. Special dresses are made for shamans and officials.

Read more about Hanbok at Wikipedia.com here.

폐백, Pyebaek – Korean Wedding Ceremony

Pyebaek (or pae-back) is a Korean wedding custom that is traditionally held a few days after the official ceremony, with only family members present.The ceremony begins with the older couple seated on cushions behind a table in front of a painted screen, with the newlyweds opposite them. The newlyweds perform a deep bow which begins standing and ends with the newlyweds pressing their foreheads to their hands while kneeling on the floor. The bride may present the groom’s parents with jujubes (Korean dates) and chestnuts, which symbolize children. A variation will have the newlyweds offering cups of wine, usually cheonju.. The bride offers the cup to the father, and the groom offers the cup to the mother. Sometimes the parents will then also offer the newlyweds cups of cheongju or soju. The older couple then shares some wisdom on marriage from their advanced experience. Finally they will throw the jujubes and chestnuts back at the bride, who has to try catching them with her wedding skirt.

Modern Korean weddings have incorporated the Pyebaek ceremony after the reception. The original Pyebaek was exclusively for the groom’s side of the family to be introduced to the new family member, the bride. In current day Korean weddings, they have also allowed for the Pyebaek ceremony to be with the brides side of the family also.

Commercial services exist to assist those unfamiliar with how the ceremony is performed.

Read more about Pyebaek at Wikipedia.com here.

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  1. Pingback: 4 Korean Wedding Traditions·

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