Events & Festivals
The Great Rite of Sajik Daeje 2018
03027 5 Sajik-ro 9-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Highlights Events & Festivals
The great rite of Sajik Daeje is a ritual dating back to the Joseon Dynasty.
Sajik Daeje continues to live on today in Seoul as a historical re-enactment of the ritual is held once every year. Efforts to preserve this piece of Korean cultural heritage have lead to the preservation of Sajik Daeje.
On October 19, 2000, the Sajik Daeje, or "Great Rite for the Gods of Earth and Agriculture", was designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property No. 111. This annual ceremonial rite was held to honor the ancestors and pay homage to the great gods of the land and grains. It was also held as a prayer for peace and prosperity of the people throughout the land. At present, the Sajik Daeje Ceremonial Committee strives to preserve the tradition of this important historical rite.
For generations, Koreans were people who heavily relied on agriculture and the harvest. Thus, Sajik Daeje was an extremely important ritual that held a significant place in society. However, Japanese powers forced the abolishment of Sajik Daeje in 1908 (the 2nd year of Sunjong’s reign). The rites were not carried out again until 1988, when the Jeonju Lee Royal Family Association came to restore the practice of Sajik Daeje again. The members of the association are descended from the Korean royal family, and the association continues to presides over the ritual to this day.
The Sajik Daeje was a ritual of utmost importance and solemnity in the Joseon era. The rites were carried out by the kings, civic officials, and military officials. Today, the procession departs from Deoksugung Palace at 11:00 a.m. The 50-minute procession winds its way past Sejong-ro, Gwanghwamun, and Sajik-ro to arrive at the Sajikandan Altar. Upon arrival of the procession, the Sajik Daeje ritual is immediately carried out at the Sajikandan Altar around 12:00 p.m. The preservation and reenactment of Sajik Daeje has allowed for an increased recognition of Korean culture and heritage among Koreans and foreign visitors alike. The great rite of Sajik Daeje is an experience that should not be missed.