> Korean Food Culture > Annual Customs and
Food > Dano
The name of the
holiday for the May 5 of the lunar calendar is Danotnal or
Suritnal. The Dongguksesigi says, "On Dano, they make rice
cake picking some kind of marsh plant called Surichwi in the
mountain or make rice cake with mugwort." Since the shape
of the rice cake looks like a wheel, this holiday is named
Origin of Dano
Dano is originated from the
period of King Hoe in China. There was a subject named Gulwon
who fell into a snare of villainous retainers and drowned
himself into Myeongnasu to show his integrity. The day fell
on May 5. After that, a memorial service for him was held
every year, and which is the origin of Korean holiday of Dano.
Danojang, women in farmhouses made ornamental hairpins cutting
the roots of sweet flags and put them on in order to prevent
headache and misfortunes. They washed their hair using the
water infused with sweet flags to make their hair more lustrous.
Moreover, they said that it would prevent psoriasis and soften
the skin to mix face powder with dew formed on lettuce leaves
in the lettuce field at the dawn of Dano and apply it to face.
Meanwhile, men put the roots of sweet flags on their waist
on Dano, which was originated from the belief that it would
have effects on driving misfortunes away.
especially at O-si (11:00~13:00), they made a bunch of wormwood
and put it next to the gate, and this was because they believed
it would drive away misfortunes. In the farmhouses, they kept
one of the folkways to insert stone between the branches of
a Chinese date tree as a wish for a bumper harvest of Chinese
It is one of
the typical plays of Dano for women. In the picture titled
'Danopungjeong (Elegance of Dano)' by the famous artist in
the latter Joseon period, Sin, Yun-bok, the women in Hanbok
rise up to the sky as their skirts blowing off by the wind.
This is a play
for men, which is comparable to Geunettwigi for women. The
winner of this play gets a bull as a prize. To become a winner,
you should win every game and have no challenger to fight
These are the
ceremonies for encouraging the unity of the people in a region.
The examples of these are Gangreungdanogut of the Gangreung
regions in Gangwon-do, Munhojanggut of Yeongsan in Gyeongnam,
and Hanjanggunnori of Gyeongbuk Jain. Each of these ceremonies
has some festival pattern of the people in a region as they
are related with various plays or events.
It is a tool
to cool off the heat. It becomes hot as Dano approaches, so
making a fan called 'Danoseon', they offered it up to the
king on Dano.