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Tech-fueled traditional activities for Chuseok holidays

Screenshot of Changdeok ARirang at Home app (SK Telecom)
Screenshot of Changdeok ARirang at Home app (SK Telecom)
State-run cultural facilities reopened Monday following a monthlong shutdown, but COVID-19 threats still exist. To safely indulge in holiday traditions during the Chuseok holidays, virtual visits to cultural sites are an option.

For families with young children, who may be uncomfortable with the idea of visiting crowded places, some royal palaces are available online, enhanced with the latest technologies - from virtual reality to augmented reality -- offering users a more interactive experience.

Changdeokgung, the only among the five extant Joseon royal palaces listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, has worked together with major mobile carrier SK Telecom to offer an augmented reality tour of the palace and its grounds.

Haechi, a lion-like mythological creature, guides the users around 12 spots of the palace. There are nine guided tours. The contactless tour also takes users to the king’s garden, a place that is closed to the public in the physical realm.

When a user turns on the camera through the Changdeok ARirang at Home app, traditional characters appear in the user’s living room, bedroom or wherever to teach traditional dances or play traditional games. 
Deoksugung (SK Telecom)
Deoksugung (SK Telecom)
A VR tour of Deoksugung’s Western-style Seokjojeon building is offered through SK Telecom’s Jump VR app.

The tour features a series of 360-degree VR videos filmed at the palace, along with explanations. The VR tour does not require a VR headset or special gear. Viewers can enjoy the tour from their smartphones.

For those who would like to enjoy traditional music at home, the National Gugak Center shares VR content through its YouTube channel. 
Screenshot of VR clip of traditional Korean dance (National Gugak Center)
Screenshot of VR clip of traditional Korean dance (National Gugak Center)

Users can learn to play traditional instruments through the VR instruction videos released by the center. Traditional dances, from folk dances to court dances, are introduced too.

Other VR recordings feature traditional Korean music performances presented at historic sites, sharing the beauty of traditional Korean architecture such as Changdeokgung and the old hanok village of Myungwon Folk Museum at Kookmin University in northern Seoul.

The Seoul Museum of Korean Folk Music offers a VR tour of the museum, too. The museum, a hanok establishment located in central Seoul, was founded to promote the traditional folk music of Korea.

By Im Eun-byel (