The Andong Mask Dance Festival is held September 30th-October 9th. The reason why masks are so widely displayed through out Korea is because it was a custom to wear a mask to ward off evil spirits . Here in Andong, the culture and all of the history of the mask is celebrated once once a year for history and celebration of the historic Korean masks. It especially holds even more significance for those who live in the nearby folk village of Hahoe . Which is a very traditional village that still has inhabitants.
According to www.maskdance.com, “The tradition of the mask dance in Korea goes back centuries, and such dances were once used in shamanistic rituals. In the village of Hahoe, these traditions are preserved today by a mask dance team that performs mudong madang (무동마당), in which the dancers make an offering to a goddess for health and wealth. The troupe then performs a second act called juji madang(주지마당), which promises an abundant harvest, and finally a dancer chases away demons. The stage has now been sanctified and other acts follow.”
The festival also showcases dancers from across Korea and around the world. This includes dance groups from China, Russia, India, Israel, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Thailand. Which also makes this festival international.There are also many different activities going on at the site, such as fire works, games and performances. It is a definite must see.