The national founder of Korea is Dangun. A grand ritual is observed to celebrate the Legend of Dangun. This event is called Eocheonjeol and observes the day Dangun went to heaven. According to the lunar calendar, this is March 15th. The legend says Dangun came to the earth from heaven. After opening the nation, Dangun went back to heaven. Dangun came to earth with the belief that if the world were ruled with humanitarian principles, it would create a utopia. This ceremony has been held throughout the history of Korea. This includes both the Jeoseon and Goryo dynasties. Imperial Japan stopped the Eocheonjeol ceremony from 1910 until 1935 when they colonized the Korean Peninsula.
The Great Religion includes four festivals. One of these is Eocheonjeol. The day Hanbegeom went to heaven is celebrated on March 15 by the lunar calendar. It was the year of sangwongapja when Hanbegeom came to earth. Hanbegeom taught and opened the city of God. Later on, Hanbegeom became the king and governed. He provided the virtues of education and creation while governing in the Trinity for 217 years. Hanbegeom is celebrated by the grand religion as he ascended to heaven. Each temple holds both the gyeonghasik and the seoneuisik.
The legendary founder of Gojoseon was Dangun Wanggeom. This was Korea’s first kingdom. In Liaoning of the current day, this is the Korean and Manchuria peninsula. According to the legend, Dangun Wanggeom is the God of heaven’s grandson. The year was 2333 BCE when he founded the kingdom. The term Dangun is a reference to the founder. There are some people who believe this term was a title all the rulers of Gojoseon used. They believe the correct name for the founder was Wanggeom.
The ancestry of Dangun starts with Hwanin, his grandfather. This term appears in the texts of the Indian Buddhists and is referred to as Lord of Heaven. The name of Hwanin’s son was Hwanung. He wanted to live on the earth in the mountains and the valleys. Hwanin gave his permission for Hwanung and 3000 of his followers to descend into the Baekdu Mountain. These were called the Taebaek mountains at this time. This was where Hwanung found the City of God or the Sinsi. He taught humans different agriculture, medicine and arts and instituted moral and law codes with his ministers of wind, rain and clouds.
A bear and a tiger prayed to Hwanung because they wanted to become human. When Hwanung heard their prayers, he gave them a bundle of mugwort and twenty cloves of garlic. He ordered them to stay out of the sun for 100 days and eat nothing but this sacred food. After roughly twenty days, the tiger gave up and left the cave. The bear stayed in the cave and was transformed into a woman.
The bear woman made offerings to Hwanung out of gratitude. She became sad because she did not have a husband. She prayed under the Divine Betula or Shindansu tree to receive the blessing of a child. Her prayers moved Hwanung and he took the bear woman for his wife. She gave birth to a son and named him Dangun Wanggeom.
Dangun eventually ascended to the throne and was responsible for the construction of the walled city of Pyongyang. This city is now known as North Korea’s capital and is referred to as the kingdom Joseon. Dangun moved the capital Asadal on Mount Gunghol or Mount Baegak. After fifteen hundred years had passed, in the year Kimyo, the capital was moved to Jangdangyeong by Dangun. He was now age 1,908 and became a mountain God after his return to Asadal.