Sunday, June 24, 2018

Changing of the Guard

Members of the Royal Guard at the Deoksugung palace in Seoul start the Changing of the Guard ceremony. 

The best daily free show for tourists in Seoul is the Changing of the Guard at Deoksugung palace. It's held most days at 11.00, 14.00 and 15.30. There is no Changing of the Guard on Mondays or when other events are scheduled. There are frequently political protests at the palace and while the palace is open to tourists during the protests, there is no changing of the guard ceremony. 

The drum announces the changing of the guard. 

The ceremony is based on the Changing of the Guard used during the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled the Korean Empire from 1392 until 1910. (In 1910, Japan invaded and occupied Korea, ending Korean independence until the end of World War II.) The ceremony last about 15 minutes and there's a chance to do "selfies" in the middle of the ceremony. 

One of the royal guards blows a conch shell during the ceremony. 
One of the royal guards march past a drummer in the royal guards. 
Selfie time with the royal guards.

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