On the Twelfth Day of Christmas …

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me –

Twelve drummers drumming.

I bring you drummers from South Korea, which is appropriate. It’s September, and they’re celebrating Chuseok, which is a sort of secular Harvest Festival. But it fills the place in the calendar that Christmas does here. It’s a time to spend with family and friends, to exchange gifts, and generally to have a good time. Bring on the drummers and dancers!

Chuseok at the National Museum of Korea, Seoul, September 2016

There are moments when you have no fewer, and no more than twelve drummers before you. But you’ll have to keep your wits about you.

And that’s it. The end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Tonight’s the time to take down the tree, tidy away cards and decorations … till next year. It’s all over unless you’re Spanish, or from a range of Latin American countries, in which case you’ll be celebrating El Dia de los Reyes, or Los Reyes Magos, when the Three Kings visited the infant Jesus. A great excuse for a party!

Dancing for Chuseok

Yesterday was for dancing. Korean dancing. Which we saw at the very wonderful National Museum of Korea – of which more later, when I’m not pecking at a smartphone.

Here were wonderfully clad dancers in the national colours of white, red and green. The men got all the action. Tossing their heads made the ribbons on their heads swirl and circle. They strutted, marched, tapped intricate rhythms on drums, jumped and kicked as the women demurely circled round. The younger men created tottering towers of children above their heads. They thrilled us.

I wish I could post my videos. But I can’t.