Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Country(ies): Republic of Korea
A central element of Korean Buddhist culture, Yeongsanjae is a re-enactment of Buddha’s delivery of the Lotus Sutra on the Vulture Peak in India, through which philosophical and spiritual messages of Buddhism are expressed and people in attendance develop self-discipline. Yeongsanjae begins with a ritual reception for all the saints and spirits of heaven and earth and concludes with a farewell ritual representing manners of the otherworldly realm of Buddha, with singing, ceremonial adornment and varied ritual dances such as the cymbal dance, drum dance and ceremonial robe dance. The other components include a ritual cleansing, a tea ceremony, the dedication of a rice meal to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, a sermon inviting the audience to the door of truth and a ritual meal for the dead to congratulate them on their entry into heaven. Preserved chiefly by the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism based in Seoul, the Yeongsanjae is held in temples throughout the Republic of Korea to help all beings enter the world of truth by worshipping and admiring the Buddha and his laws and monks. The ceremony serves as an important space for transmission of values and art forms and for meditation, training and enlightenment.
Decision 4.COM 13.68
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Yeongsanjae is a cherished expression of the identity of its practitioners who have passed it on from generation to generation;
- R.2: Its inscription on the Representative List would contribute to ensuring the visibility of intangible cultural heritage at the local, national and international levels, thereby reflecting cultural diversity and human creativity;
- R.3: The nomination presents the national system of safeguarding measures and describes the commitment of the Yeongsanjae Preservation Association to enhancing awareness and transmission of the element;
- R.4: The element is designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
- R.5: The element is designated as Important Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Cultural Heritage Administration.
© 2008 by Cultural Heritage Administration
These videos (and many more) can also be consulted through the UNESCO Archives Multimedia website