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Origin of Dano

Gangneung Danoje was originated from the service of General Kim Yu-shin of Silla, General Pung Il of Silla, and Lady Chung of Daegwanryeong of Silla.The Korean Danoje was originally called “Sulitnal,” which is a pure Korean word.It was renamed as Danoje, which means 5th of May by the lunar calendar.

Dano is the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, and it is called Cheonjungil, which is the most abundant day of the year.In the traditional era, Seolnal and Chuseok were one of the three major holidays. ‘Dano’ is the time to take a short rest for a busy farming season just after planting.

Food which Koreans eat on the Day of Dano

Korean ancestors regarded Dano, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, as the day when summer began.If the heat continues, the first thing that comes to mind is cold beverages. In the past, ordinary people overcame the heat with cherry punch, cucumbers, and the royal family overcame the heat by relieving their thirst with ‘Jehotang’. Cherry punch is a beverage that preserve seedless cherry in sugar and honey and then puts them in ‘Omija’ water and put pine nuts on them. Cucumber is also cool and watery, so it is perfect for relieving thirst.’Jehotang’, whose main ingredient is Korean apricot, is a soft drink served by a court member to the king. The king sent them down to a ‘Giloso’ where the elderly officials gathered.

On the Dano day, people used to enjoy eating ‘Surichwi-tteok’ (rice cake of a kind of marsh plant). ‘Surichwi-tteok’ is a rice cake made into a round shape after adding boiled ‘Surichwi’ (a kind of marsh plantl) to the non-glutinous rice flour.Surichwi-tteok used to be called chalyunbyeong which means wheel shaped rice cake. It is because when making rice cake, use a wheel-shaped molds was made by wooden. Dano was also called as ‘Su–lit-nal'(The word ‘Suli’ means wagon in Korean).
It is because when the people made Surichwi-tteok, they used wheel-shaped molds which was made by wood. so another name for Surichwi-tteok is ‘Chalyunbyeong’ which means wheel-shaped rice cake.

the play and custom done on the Day of Dano

Before Dano, young people used to go around the house and collect straws to make swings. In Dano they enjoyed playing swing. They also do ssireum(Korean wrestling) to compete for strength. On Dano day, in Gangneung Danoje would be held, and mask dance such as Bongsan Talchum, Songpa Sandae Nori, Yangju Byeolsandae nori is held in the marketplace in each region.

As Dano day is said to be a day full of energy and that energy chases off various bad energy. When the Dano Day comes, there is a custom where the people carry changpo or mugwort around their body and chase off evil spirits. it is because they think that changpo and mugwort is what the evil spirits and bad luck hate.
However, it is often used to prepare for a healthy summer because it is effective in strengthening the hair and chasing harmful insects.