Royal Culture Festival leverages BTS’ popularity

By Song Seung-hyun
  • Published : Oct 7, 2020 - 19:10
  • Updated : Oct 7, 2020 - 19:14

This year’s Royal Culture Festival kicks off Saturday with a show at Gyeongbokgung’s Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, a venue for state banquets during the Joseon era. (Song Seung-hyun/The Korea Herald)

The sixth Royal Culture Festival will kick off Saturday at 7 p.m. at Gyeongbokgung’s famous venue for state banquets during the Joseon era (1392-1910).

“For this year’s festival, we prepared a performance at Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, a place that drew global attention after the BTS performance for … ‘The Tonight Show,’” Na Myeong-ha, a Cultural Heritage Administration official, said Wednesday during a press conference at the palace.

The opening performance is based on the story of Shim Cheong, a Korean folktale about a young girl who sacrifices herself to the king of the underwater world to cure her father’s blindness.

In addition to Gyeongbokgung, the festival will run until Nov. 8. at three other palaces -- Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Deoksugung -- as well as the royal shrine Jongmyo.

“We initially planned to hold the festival twice this year, once in spring and once more in autumn. But due to the spread of COVID-19, we had to combine the two planned festivals,” Na said.

From Saturday to Oct. 18, those who make reservations in advance can enjoy 12 different performances, exhibitions and hands-on experiences at the palaces. Tickets can be bought online at Auction Ticket.

Eighteen online events are also available, mainly through the Royal Culture Festival’s YouTube channel.

Using the popular game Minecraft, festival organizers are also educating young people about Korean history and culture.

“Through this game content, children can enjoy a tour of Gyeongbokgung,” festival director Cho Hyeong-jae said. “Since Minecraft is a game for creating towns and buildings, children will be able to experience building Gyeonghoeru Pavilion as one of the challenges in the game.”

More details are provided on the festival website,, as well as the websites of the Cultural Heritage Administration and the Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation.

By Song Seung-hyun (