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12 December 2022, 09:32

New street lights with design of Joseon-era glass lantern to light up Seoul's night


SEOUL, 12 December (BelTA -Yonhap News). - Artistic street lights with a design of popular box-shaped glass lanterns used for royal banquets during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) will light up the streets of Seoul's city center at night.

The National Palace Museum of Korea said it has installed 350 such street lights in areas around major royal palaces, including Gyeongbok Palace, in Seoul, in a joint project with Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's leading wire service, and the Jongno-gu Office of the city to promote traditional Korean culture.

A lighting ceremony will be held on Monday evening in front of a gate of Gyeongbok Palace with heads of the three organizations attending.

The original "square glass lantern" is in the museum's collection. It is framed with lacquered wood and covered with glass decorated with flower paintings. An oil lamp or candle was put on its floor, and a hook was attached so it could be hung under the eaves of the palace.

While a royal banquet in Joseon was usually held in the early morning of the day of each feast, Crown Prince Hyomyeong, the eldest son of King Sunjo who reigned from 1800 to 1834, initiated the night banquet in 1828 to celebrate his mother's 40th birthday. The square glass lanterns began to be used for evening banquets the following year.

Museum officials expect the installation of the traditional Korean lanterns will serve as a chance to increase the awareness among local and foreign tourists of cultural heritage from the Joseon royal court.

"We'll continue to play a role contributing to the development of the local community in the future and exert more efforts to increase the public awareness about the beauty and significance of the royal court's cultural heritage by making full use of it," one of the officials said.

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