A Relocation Ritual of Shinju Royal Tablets Held in 151 years
-Ritual began at 10:00 a.m. on June 5th
-Tablets have been temporarily enshrined at Changdeokgung Palace
The Cultural Heritage Administration Royal Palaces and Tombs Center (Director: Na Myeong-Ha) hostedon June 5tha ritual marking the relocation ofshinju, the royal tablets of Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Shinju, originally enshrined in the main building of Jongmyo Shrine, has now been moved to the Old Seonwonjeon of Changdeokgung Palace as the main building of Jongmyo Shrine undergoes repair.
The wooden tablets, where the names of the Joseon kings and queens are written, are an integral part of the Jongmyo royal shrine, a national treasure, and the Jongmyo Jerye ancestral ritual, which is inscribed in on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Filial duty was one of the key values of Joseon and as a result the dynasty had a colorful array of ancestral rituals and related objects and customs.
The June 5theventmarked the first relocation of the shinju tablets in more than 150 years. The last time they had to be moved elsewhere was in 1870 when their homes - the main building and an auxiliary shrine of Jongmyo called Yeongnyeongjeon–were being renovated.
Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation oversaw the ritual and Committee of Jongmyo Jerye Conservation participated.The process was conducted according to Annals of the Joseon Dynasty.
The event began at 10:00 a.m. and the programs unfolded as follows: ▲An ancestral ritual proclaimed the transfer of shinju; ▲participants then moved the royal tablets on foot to the temporary shrine located at the Oedaemun Gate, the main entrance of Jongmyo; ▲ after which shinju was moved to Donhwamun Gate of Changdeokgung Palace on anti-vibration vehicle; ▲ and finally participants moved the tablets on foot to the Old Seonwonjeon of Changdeokgung Palace to be enshrined.
A total of 98 people participated in the historic event, including those who took on the roles of Joseon-era ritual officials known as heongwan. In hopes of relocating the royal tablets safely and preventing the spread of COVID-19 virus,the event was held privately and not open to the public. But those interested will be able to enjoy the event on the Cultural Heritage Administration’s official YouTube channel(http://www.youtube.com/user/chluvu).
Once the repair of the main building of Jongmyo Shrine is completed in 2022, the Cultural Heritage Administration Royal Palaces and Tombs Center plans to hold the Hwa-an ceremonial ritual marking there turn of the shinju tablets. The administration hopes the 2022 ritual will be a public event where people can learn about the history and culture of Joseon’s royal rituals.
*More on renovation of main building of Jongmyo Shrine(National Treasure No. 227):
During a safety inspection of the building in 2015, experts confirmed aging roof tiles and resulting leaks have caused damages. The repair began in 2020 and is set to be completed in 2022.
*More on Old Seonwonjeon of Changdeokgung Palace(Treasure No. 817):
This building has royal portraits of thekings of the Joseon Dynasty and it is where ancestral rituals took place.
* Hwa-an(還安): A ceremonial ritual that commemorates the return of shinju to its original location.
Contact person: Park chan jeong(02-6450-3849)