SEOUL, May 30 (Korea Bizwire) – As a long-term drought continues in South Korea, apprehensive farmers are resorting to traditional rain calling rituals in hopes of better farming yields, with some of the ceremonies dating back to 500 years ago.
Last Thursday in Anseong, a city in Gyeonggi Province, a Korean rain calling ceremony was performed by a group of some 50 people consisting of local residents and officials, during which an altar was set up adorned with food and drinks.
“(This year’s) drought has been so severe that the local council decided to perform a rain calling ritual out of desperation,” said Lee Byung-suk, the mayor of Gumgwang Township, where the ritual was held.
Geumgwang Reservoir is the third-largest in the province with a storage capacity of 12 million tons.
However, in the face of the recent long-term drought in the country, the water storage rate has dropped to below 10 percent.
“Although nearly 90 per cent of rice planting at farms in the vicinity of the reservoir has been completed, I’m worried about the lack of water going forward. Areas with no access to Geumgwang Reservoir aren’t able to plant rice properly,” Lee added.
Similar efforts to call for rain amid fears of further damage caused by drought have been seen around the country, including North Chungcheong Province.
Last Saturday, the local government of Daedeok District in Daejeon also performed a rain calling ritual in the presence of some 100 local residents.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)