Watch: Giant South Korean tug-of-war game gets underway at 500-year-old festival

A 500-year-old traditional Korean folk festival in South Korea’s central-western city of Dangjin wrapped up its three-day schedule with Gijisi Juldarigi – a giant tug-of-war game .

The game was staged in a small town called Gijisi in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province, and was joined by hundreds of residents and tourists.

The main rope is approximately 200m in length and 1m in diameter, and weighs about 40 tons. It normally takes over 40 days for nearly 20 people to produce the “base” ropes which are constructed of twisted rice straws, and then one full day for about 400 people to complete the full-size ropes. The choice of rice straws is known to be symbolic because rice is the staple grain in the areas where the game is practiced.

The process to construct the main rope used in the game is a communal event as two 100m-long ropes are used, one for each team, and connected by a three metre-long wooden beam or stump known as "Binyeomok". Due to their giant size, the ropes cannot be grasped directly, so the players of each team attached dozens of smaller side-ropes to the main one, that act as handles along with additional hand-holds.

The event has been designated as one of Korea’s Important Intangible Cultural Heritages. Also, it was registered in 2015 as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

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