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Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Jeonju Hanok Village

For the last four years, Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony has been one of the most popular cultural attractions of Jeonju Hanok Village. The ceremony is held every Saturday 2PM until October. The march starts from Jeonju Sori Culture Center and arrives at Gyeonggijeon Palace.

During Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), the Royal Guards guarded the gates of the palaces. The Royal Guard system was established in the year 1469.

The march of the Royal Guards starts from Jeonju Sori Culture Center. At 2PM, with the powerful command of the commander, the march of the guards start hitting the Hanjigil and Taejoro streets.

Gyeonggijeon Royal Guards’ march route

Jeonju Sori Culture Center > Hanjigil & Taejoro streets > Gyeonggijeon Main Gate > The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony > March inside Gyeonggijeon > Hanjigil & Taejoro streets > Jeonju Sori Culture Center

The march of the guards is magnificent with the colorful costumes, huge flags, and traditional royal music. In the photo are the flagbearers on Taejoro street.

I found the musical performance of the guards very exciting.

The guards continue to march to the main gate of Gyeonggijeon.

The march waits for the performance to finish at the main gate.

Traditional Korean music and martial arts performances were being held before the royal guards’ march arrived.

When the march arrives at the main gate, the changing ceremony starts.

This year, the ceremony also offers English translation.

The main characters of the ceremony are as follows

Position Role
Sumunjang In charge of guarding Gyeonggijeon.
Jongsagwan Aides Sumunjang.
Jeonjik In charge of the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony
Sujongjang In charge of percussion
Chunguigun and Kisudae Guarding gates and patrolling premises
Chitagun Plays musical instrument

The ceremony consists of confirming watchwords, entering of Jeonjik and Sujongjang, starting of the ceremony, confirming identity by assembling a wooden plate, and changing positions

Many visitors were present. The ceremony continued despite a sudden shower.

The procedure of the ceremony is as follows:

<The procedure for the Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony>

Procedure What happens
Gunhoungdae The both sides of the guards (on-duty and off-duty) exchange the watchwords
Jeonjik and Sujongjang enters Jeonjik and Sujongjang supervise the changing ceremony
Cho-eom The sounds of trumpet and drum heralds the beginning of the changing ceremony.
Yi-eom The both sides of the guards assemble a wooden plate to confirm each other’s identity.
Sam-eom The off-duty and on-duty guards exchange places.

After the changing ceremony, the off-duty guards return to Jeonju Sori Culture Center. This is the visitors’ last chance to see the march.

If you’re travelling to Jeonju during weekend (until October), don’t miss the Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony!

Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony

– Time: every Saturday 2PM (until October)

– Place: from Jeonju Sori Culture Center ~ Gyeonggijeon

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  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    These types of activities are very important in order to preserve the traditions and culture of the country. I hope to have the opportunity to coincide with the time of the march when I travel to Jeonju

  • Jared Sandler

    Very helpful that the blog writer wrote in detail about the various procedures of the Gyeonggijeon Royal Guard Changing Ceremony, as well as the main characters’ positions and roles. The photographs from this Saturday afternoon ceremony remind me of certain aspects from the recent ‘Stage of Togetherness’ traditional dancing and music concert held at Jeonju City’s Korean Intangible Heritage Festival.

  • Jennifer Gallardo

    This is so beautiful, I would have liked to visit jeonju this year. every time I see this type of ceremony it makes me travel back in time. Korean history and culture is very interesting and I think it is very original that they do this type of ceremony so that the Korean citizen and foreigner know a little more. I think that through these activities the culture will be preserved for years.

  • 리하

    Quite amazing pride of korea

  • Cristina Pérez

    Definitely a performance worth seeing again… can’t wait to visit jeonju again sometime!!!