After a nice night of raging American style in Daegu (say it like a stoner – Duuude, we’re going to Day-guuuuuu), we managed to get all three couples out of the city to hit up the very traditional annual Andong Mask Festival.
We wereÂ promised amazing Andong jjimdak (jim-duck), painted masks and a pretty cool display of fire and were not disappointed by either.
In Hahoe Village we stood in the rain with thousands of people to watch rows of charcoal sparklers being pulled up a mountain. Live Korean music was blaring through theÂ speakers when a boat appeared with traditionally dressed actors dancing, eating and reciting poetry – then we screamed “GOOD LUCK” and balls of fire were thrown down the mountain. Â From the little I understood, the festival is meant to be good luck for the future harvest but to me it was the epitome of being somewhere very foreign and not understanding what any of this meant.
We continued on to the Mask festival, where the rain had cleared most revelers out but NOT US.Â More raging.Â More hite.Â More food.Â More fun.
The festival was nearly exactly what you would see at a US fair – except for the Monks and the shark meat.
We hung out under a tent and ate amazing bbq pork, chicken and pepper-egg scramble.Â In addition to several banchan – including raw garlic which I have come to love – we were given a bowl of soju slush to which we secretly added a bottle of vodka.
It’s beginning to feel like we can’t go an evening without getting trashed in Korea.
I haven’t even gotten to the best part of Andong – the freakingÂ delicious Jjimduk. The overwhelming theme of our trip so far has been FOOD. It’s not just that the food is delicious, but it’s always a party.Â All restaurants serve food in portions of 3+, so each meal is a de facto dinner party with friends.
After having a great time at the Mask Festival, we woke up to the best meal yet. Feast your eyes on this – Jjimduk.
You have now died and gone to Korean heaven.Â Yeji has promised to give me her mother’s recipe, so expect to see this at our next dinner party (in a few years…)