Events

Myohyeollye in Jongmyo

Myohyeollye in Jongmyo
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Myohyeollye is a national ritual wherein the queen or the crown princess after the royal wedding goes to Jongmyo to meet with the royal spirits. It is the only national event in Jongmyo participated in by royal women.

About Myohyeollye in Joseonwangjosillok (Source: The 30th Book of King Sukjong’s Annal; October 9, 22nd year of King Sukjong)

“It is beyond deplorable that women come to Jongmyo to take care of the ritual. It cannot be acceptable for women to enter such a solemn, sacred area. This is the only thing to be fixed in the ritual.” But King Sukjong yelled at his retainers. “It is reasonable to imitate the Chinese system for us to perform Myohyeollye. Moreover, who else could perform a ritual wherein the queen and the crown princess enter? Being tied to one thing but not performing Myohyeollye is like quitting eating forever for fear of choking. Just carry on.”

Myohyeollye Procedures

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The king and the crown prince prepare

The King, Crown Prince, and civil and military officials pay their respects to the preceding kings with gukgungsabae.

Gukgung means bowing down in front of the spirits with extreme respect; sabae indicates bowing four times. Here, bowing does not mean bowing once and standing up. They bow low to the ground once, and then lower their heads while sitting down, and this is repeated four times.

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The king and the crown prince check the room of sinju

The king and the crown prince check the room of sinju, the tablets signifying the preceding kings.

Bongsim is a ritual wherein a person who receives the king’s command or the king himself visits to check Jongmyo. In addition to visiting Jongmyo only for Bongsim, the ritual was performed before special events such as Myohyeollye.

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The king and the crown prince enter socha

After the civil and military officials leave Jongmyo, the king and the crown prince enter socha (a royal tent).

As the retainers are not allowed to see the queen and the crown princess in those days, they should leave Jongmyo before the royal women enter.

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The queen and the crown princess do almyo (paying their respects)

The queen and the crown princess officially pay their respect to the preceding kings.

They perform gukgungsabae but do not enter the room of sinju. This almyo occupies a small but significant part of the Myohyeollye Procedures since it is the only event wherein royal women participate among Joseon’s national rituals at Jongmyo.

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The queen and the crown princess leave

After paying their respects, the queen and the crown princess leave Jongmyo through the east gate.

All the women officials leave the venue with them. In this reproduction, the departure of the queen and the crown princess is replaced with their giving thanks to the tourists.

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Taking photos

You can take photos with the citizen actors/actresses in national costumes.