A Squid Faced Wedding Tradition in South Korea

By Giacomo Lee. Read the dark side to Seoul city in his novel Funereal, out now on Amazon UK & US.

I enjoyed reading on Weird Korea about the squid faced Hamjinabi (함진아비), a wedding tradition in South Korea that has sadly all but died out.

Hamjinabi involves a friend of the groom carrying a chest of gifts (ham,or 함) on his back to the house of the bride’s family, along with a dried squid mask to hide his identity. The box must never touch the floor, and is eventually placed on top of a big pan of red bean rice cake.


Other friends travel with the hamjinabi on the way to the house, also wearing squid masks. Before entering the house, however, the group must step on a wooden ladle, breaking it to scare the last of the ghosts away and to wish that the first born child of the bride and groom is a boy.

Read more at Weird Korea, and see some hamjinabi-inspired photo art at the current New Scenes exhibition in Buk Seoul Museum of Art, which was where I was first introduced to this old custom.

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